Trump Stages Full-Blown, Racist Meltdown at “Made in America” Event

“If you hate our country, if you’re not happy here, you can leave.”

Alex Brandon/AP

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President Donald Trump on Monday further escalated his racist attacks against four Democratic congresswomen of color who have been sharply critical of his presidency by telling the freshmen lawmakers that they were free to “leave” the country if they were unhappy with his administration.

“If you’re not happy here, then you can leave,” Trump told reporters in a chaotic news conference for a “Made in America” event at the White House. “As far as I’m concerned, if you hate our country, if you’re not happy here, you can leave.”

He then dismissed the firestorm he created on Sunday after targeting a group of freshmen Democrats—all of whom are American citizens with only one born outside of the US—telling them in nakedly racist terms to “go back” and fix their home countries. “A lot of people love it, by the way. A lot of people love it,” Trump said on Monday, referring to the incendiary tweetstorm, which has since drawn fierce condemnation from Democrats, but few reactions from Republicans

At certain moments of the press conference, Trump appeared to almost revel in the attention his racist attacks have attracted. He also singled out Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), falsely accusing the lawmaker of embracing Al-Qaeda while hating the United States. Omar is one of the first two Muslim women ever elected to Congress.

“In one case, you have somebody that comes from Somalia, which is a failed government, a failed state, who left Somalia, who ultimately came here and now is a congresswoman who’s never happy,” the president said in a rant. “Says horrible things about Israel, hates Israel! Hates Jews, hates Jews! It’s very simple.”

Some in the audience for the “Made in America” event applauded the president’s remarks. He repeatedly ignored reporters’ questions, several of whom asked where he preferred the congresswomen to go to register their discontent. 

The press conference, paired with his tweets earlier Monday demanding an apology from the congresswomen, was the latest signal that the president had no intention of backing down from his racist attacks. 

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THE BIG PICTURE

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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