Trump Demands Apology From Democratic Congresswomen He Attacked in Racist Diatribe

Meanwhile, Theresa May condemned the president’s “go back” home tweets as “completely unacceptable.”

Kevin Dietsch/ZUMA

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President Donald Trump is refusing to back down from his racist tweetstorm in which he told four Democratic congresswomen of color—all of whom are American citizens, with only one born outside of the United States—to “go back” to the countries from which they came. Instead, he ratcheted up his attack on Monday by asserting that the congresswomen owe him an apology.

The incendiary claim is all but guaranteed to keep the president’s tweets from Sunday in the headlines, as he continues to target freshmen Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), and Ilhan Omar (Minn.) in unabashedly racist terms. 

This all began Sunday when Trump tweeted, “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” in an attempt to exploit the four congresswomen’s public tensions with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough,” he continued. “I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”

The presidential tweets sparked furious condemnation on the left, including from 2020 candidates. Pelosi said that the president’s words fit into his xenophobic, white supremacist agenda. 

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s office also weighed in on the controversy Monday morning, denouncing the tweets as “completely unacceptable.” The rare moment of criticism came amid worsening tensions between the two longtime allies after the British ambassador to the US was forced to resign after leaked cables revealed he had described Trump as inept.

Meanwhile, Republicans have been notably silent amid the fierce backlash. Rather than join in the general expressions of concern, Fox News hosts on Sunday attempted to downplay the presidential tirade by focusing on the tensions within the Democratic party and finding humor in the racist tweets.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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