A group of Republican women from Dallas say they fully support President Donald Trump after he told four progressive congresswomen of color they should “go back” to their “crime infested” countries and all of them agreed that Trump’s attack was not racist.
“He was saying that if they hate America so much because what we’re seeing out of them and hearing out of them, they hate America,” Dena Miller, one of the GOP women on the panel, told CNN’s Randi Kaye. “If it’s so bad, there’s a lot of places they can go.”
Trump had implied in a series of tweets on Sunday that the four progressive congresswomen weren’t born in America and sarcastically suggested, “they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
The women he had been referring to — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — have been outspoken against the President and critical of his policies. Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Pressley are natural-born US citizens, while Omar is a Somalia refugee who became a US citizen when she was a teenager.
“It’s a demonstration of how their ideology spills over,” Republican voter Kathleen Lieberman told CNN. “Even though they’re American now, so to speak, they’re not acting American.”
The Republican women said Trump couldn’t be racist or xenophobic because of his past relationship with a black woman and his two marriages to immigrant women. One of the women pointed to the first black billionaire and BET founder Bob Johnson’s supportive words of Trump.
Republican voter Gina O’Briant said she’s “glad” the President made those comments.
O’Briant argued that the four congresswomen are the ones “inciting hatred and division,” and Miller suggested that it was the Democratic congresswomen who are racist.
“How come they haven’t befriended one of their white female congresswomen colleagues? And let her join the group,” Miller told Kaye. “They don’t like white people. Come on! They’re racist.”
Trump has also denied that his attack on the four were racist.
The quartet of progressive Democratic congresswomen, known on Capitol Hill as “the Squad,” have forcefully pushed back against the President.
At a press conference on Monday, Omar condemned Trump’s words as “a blatantly racist attack on four duly elected members of the United States of House of Representatives, all of whom are women of color.”
The Minnesota congresswoman said Trump’s comments evoke a familiar sentiment made to people of color.
“You might have noticed how when he said go back to where you came from there was an uproar through all of our communities, because every single person who is brown or black, at some point in their life in this country, heard that,” Omar said.
Congressional Republicans have been largely united on this issue, with a few speaking out against Trump’s attacks. Republican leadership has defended the President and insisted that his tweets weren’t racist. And on Tuesday, all but four Republicans voted against a House resolution condemning Trump’s use of racist language.
CNN’s Ashley Killough, Clare Foran, Morgan Rimmer, Devan Cole, Kevin Liptak and Kaitlan Collins contributed to this report.