Republicans defend Trump tweets, say 'squad' engages in personal attacks
Republicans came out in defence Tuesday of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Twitter attack on four Democratic congresswomen, claiming the female lawmakers were engaging in personal attacks.
WATCH: Steve Scalise says ‘Squad’ has disgraced the office of the President
“They continue to call for impeachment and [Democratic congresswoman Ayanna] Pressley would not even refer to the president by the title,” Republican congressman Steve Scalise said at a press conference Tuesday.
“We disagreed with Barack Obama on a lot of things that he did, the policies,” Scalise said. “But we never disrespected the office. I called him president of the United States, as we all did. If he asked us to go meet with him at the White House, we went. We expressed our disagreements in a respectful way, but what they continue to do is go after [Trump] personally, to call for impeachment of the president from day one.”
WATCH: Republican Kevin McCarthy says Trump’s tweets attacking Democratic congresswoman were not racist
The four first-term minority Democratic congresswomen in question are Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Abdullahi Omar, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib.
Scalise’s comments came two days after Trump sent out tweets calling for the four congresswomen – known informally in Congress as “the squad” – to “go back” to the “the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Trump’s weekend tweets prompted other Democrats to accuse Trump of racist and divisive rhetoric.
Other Republicans jumped to Trump’s defence as well. Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney said any opposition to “the squad” was based on policy.
“I want to make absolutely clear that our opposition to our socialist colleagues has absolutely nothing to do with their gender, with their religion, or with their race,” she said.
Trump also defended himself on Tuesday, saying his weekend tweets were not racist and claiming the four congresswomen “hate our country.”
“Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” he wrote. “Republicans should not show ‘weakness’ and fall into their trap.”
…..Congresswomen, who I truly believe, based on their actions, hate our Country. Get a list of the HORRIBLE things they have said. Omar is polling at 8%, Cortez at 21%. Nancy Pelosi tried to push them away, but now they are forever wedded to the Democrat Party. See you in 2020!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2019