Trump defends ‘go back’ tweets about Democratic reps, denies they were ‘racist’

President Trump on Monday doubled down on his tweets telling “progressive” Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to where they came from and denied his tweets were racist while claiming the lawmakers “hate our country.”

Trump spoke to reporters Monday at the Made in America Product Showcase, where he defended his claims about the congresswomen of color — who he initially did not mention by name — to “go back” to the country where they came from and “help fix the totally broken and crime infested places.”

“If someone doesn’t like our country, if someone doesn’t want to be in our country, they should leave,” Trump told a reporter.

“These are people that hate our country. … they hate it, I think, with a passion,” the president added.

Trump received an onslaught of criticism Sunday after writing on Twitter that the progressive freshmen congresswomen should “go back” to their country of origin. Although the president did not name the congresswomen, he was most likely referring to Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.

“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run,” Trump wrote.

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done,” he continued. “These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”

Trump on Monday claimed Omar “hates Israel, hates Jews” and suggested she has "love" for Al-Qaeda based on how she spoke about the terror organization. He also criticized Ocasio-Cortez for “keeping Amazon out of New York” and causing the city to lose “tens of thousands of jobs.”


Earlier Monday, Trump also made it clear he had no intention of backing down, asking on Twitter when "the Radical Left Congresswomen" would "apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said."

"So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!" he wrote.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.