Texas Republican Rep. Will Hurd said Monday that President Donald Trump’s tweets attacking progressive Democratic congresswomen were “racist and xenophobic,” making him one of the few elected Republicans to speak out against Trump’s remarks.
He told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour the President’s tweets reflect “behavior that’s unbecoming of the leader of the free world.” He said Trump should be “talking about things that unite us, not divides us.”
“I think those tweets are racist and xenophobic. They’re also inaccurate,” he said.
“Look, I’m the only black Republican in the House of Representatives. I go into communities that most Republicans don’t show up in order to take a conservative message,” he also said, adding, “This makes it harder in order to take our ideas, and our platform, to communities that don’t necessarily identify with the Republican Party.”
Hurd said it is “concerning to me that there are people that think that’s OK, that kind of behavior’s OK” when asked if he was surprised why so many Republicans have not spoken out about Trump’s tweets.
Asked why the President “keeps doing this kind of stuff” and if he thinks Trump is racist, Hurd said, “Well, you’d have to ask him those questions. But the comments were indeed racist.”
Trump did not name who he was attacking in his Sunday tweets, but last week, the President referenced New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when he was defending House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
A group of Democrats who have been outspoken about Trump’s immigration policies and are women of color last week condemned the conditions of border detention facilities. The group of women joining Ocasio-Cortez were Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
Trump implied in the series of tweets that the congresswomen weren’t born in America and suggested “they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Pressley are natural-born US citizens. Omar was born in Somalia and immigrated to the US when she was young. According to The New York Times, Omar became a citizen in 2000 when she was 17 years old.
Pelosi defended the congresswomen and condemned Trump’s language, and several 2020 democratic presidential hopefuls rebuked Trump’s tweets.
Trump denied Monday that the inflammatory tweets he issued were racist, telling CNN’s Kaitlan Collins “not at all” when asked if they were.
CNN’s Devan Cole contributed to this report.