The young progressive lawmakers who were the targets of President Donald Trump’s racist tweetstorm on Sunday hit back at the commander in chief shortly after he called on them to go back to where they “originally came from.” Although Trump didn’t actually name anyone in his racist tirade, and simply aimed his ire at “ ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen,” there was little doubt he was referring to members of what has become known as “the Squad” in Congress, which includes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. All four of them responded Sunday and accused the president of promoting hate.
Ocasio-Cortez addressed Trump directly: “You are angry because you can’t conceive of an America that includes us. You rely on a frightened America for your plunder.” She also made clear that “the country I ‘come from,’ & the country we all swear to, is the United States.” The “rub of it all,” claims Ocasio-Cortez, is that “on top of not accepting an America that elected us, you cannot accept that we don’t fear you either.”
Omar, who was seen as the most clear target for Trump’s racist tirade since she was born in Somalia, also made clear that “the only country we swear an oath to is the United States” and proceeded to say that is why “we are fighting to protect it from the worst, most corrupt and inept president we have ever seen.” She went on to accuse Trump of “stoking white nationalism.”
Tlaib took a more succinct approach to her response and didn’t even quote Trump’s tweet, seemingly suggesting that her criticism goes beyond one racist set of tweets. “Want a response to a lawless & complete failure of a President?” Tlaib tweeted. “He is the crisis. His dangerous ideology is the crisis. He needs to be impeached.” She went on to address Trump directly: “Yo @realDonaldTrump, I am fighting corruption in OUR country. I do it every day when I hold your admin accountable as a U.S. Congresswoman.”
Pressley, meanwhile, published an image of Trump’s tweets and wrote, “THIS is what racism looks like.” In contrast, “WE are what democracy looks like. And we’re not going anywhere.”
Several other Democrats also criticized Trump for his racist tweets, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said that the president’s message “reaffirms his plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again.”
It wasn’t just Democrats who criticized the president. Rep. Justin Amash, who recently left the Republican Party to become an independent, called Trump’s tweets “racist and disgusting.”