Trump Lashes Out at Congresswomen of Color, Labels Them “Very Racist” and “Not Smart”

The newest attack came while the president was en route to a ceremony honoring the late Justice John Paul Stevens.

Brian Lawless/ZUMA

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President Donald Trump, after spending more than a week escalating his racist attacks against four congresswomen of color, continued his smears Monday morning, labeling the freshman Democrats known as the “squad” a “very racist group of troublemakers.” In doing so, the president disparaged their intelligence—one of the predictable insults that he deploys when targeting people of color—and accused them of being bad for the country.

The attack came as Trump was on his way to a ceremony at the Supreme Court honoring the late Justice Paul Stevens who died last week at 99. It was the latest example of whataboutism that Trump and his Republican allies have used to shield the president against the charges of racism he has attracted since first demanding that the four congresswomen—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar ((D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.)—”go back” to their countries more than a week ago. For Trump’s defenders, the congresswomen are “communists” and therefore their political stance is far more deserving of denunciation than the president’s attacks.

Despite the widespread condemnation and serious concerns that the president’s remarks could invite violence against the congresswomen, Trump has refused to back down. (After unconvincingly attempting to disavow a racist “send her back” chant for that erupted during a political rally, Trump quickly moved onto praising the crowd and renewing his attacks.)

Over the weekend, a Louisiana police officer came under fire for a Facebook post suggesting that Ocasio-Cortez needed a “round”—an apparent exhortation for the New York congresswomen to be shot. A Republican group in Illinois was also denounced for sharing a fake movie poster that referred to the congresswomen as the “Jihad Squad.” In April, a New York man was arrested for threatening to kill Omar.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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