By Billy House
“I am not surprised that he uses the rhetoric he does,” Ocasio-Cortez said of the president. “But I also know that we are focused.”
Standing with her were fellow progressives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachesetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
Pressley urged the colleagues and the public to avoid letting the president’s words from distracting from the issues that must be dealt with, including the detention of immigrants on the border, health care, gun violence and prescription drug prices, as well as corruption at the White House.
“Do not take the bait,” she said at a news conference at the Capitol. “This is simply a disruption and a distraction from the callous, chaotic and corrupt culture of this administration.”
Trump over the weekend tweeted that “‘Progressive’ Democratic Congresswomen” should “go back” to the countries they came from rather than criticize the U.S., long a slur against minorities.
Trump didn’t use their names but was clearly referring to Ocasio-Cortez and her three allies. Only Omar, a refugee from Somalia, was born outside of the U.S., and all four are minorities elected in 2018 from left-leaning heavily Democratic districts.
On Monday Trump made clear that was who he was referring to and escalated the attacks.
”We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of Communists, they hate Israel, they hate our own Country, they’re calling the guards along our Border (the Border Patrol Agents) Concentration Camp Guards, they accuse people who support Israel as doing it for the Benjamin’s...,” he tweeted.
He denied to reporters outside he White House that his tweets over the two days about the women were racist. He said they have been “complaining constantly” about the United States.
Ahead of the 2020 election, Trump and Republicans have been attempting to paint Democrats as socialists and trying to make Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described democratic-socialist, the symbol of the Democratic Party. Trump also is playing to the country’s racial divisions and stoking the anti-immigrant fervor that helped him win election.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday the House will vote on a resolution condemning Trump’s attacks on the four female Democratic lawmakers, and a handful of GOP lawmakers joined in the denunciations of his statements.