President Donald Trump on Tuesday mocked Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s grief over her decision not to visit her grandmother in the West Bank after initially being barred by Israel, claiming the Democratic congresswoman “grandstanded” when she shed tears Monday.
Tlaib got tearful as she spoke about visits she had made as a young girl to visit her grandmother in the West Bank. When she spoke about her mother and herself having to go through “dehumanizing checkpoints,” Tlaib grew visibly emotional.
“As a young girl visiting Palestine to see my grandparents and extended family I watched as my mother had to go through dehumanizing checkpoints, even though she was a United States citizen and proud American,” Tlaib said.
The Israeli government barred Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota from entry over their support for a boycott of Israel shortly after Trump said the country would be showing “great weakness” by allowing the two Democratic congresswomen to enter.
The boycott movement, formally known as the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions movement, aims to end international support for Israel because of its policies toward Palestinians, as well as its continued construction of West Bank settlements, considered a violation of international law.
Tlaib and Omar’s visit had been scheduled to take place from August 18 to 22. They were set to visit Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah and Hebron. The two congresswomen also planned to meet with Israeli and Palestinian peace activists and representatives of human rights organizations. Tlaib was planning on staying two extra days to visit her grandmother, Muftiya Tlaib, who lives in the West Bank village of Beit Ur al-Tahta.
Trump, citing a video of Tlaib protesting one of his campaign events before she was elected to Congress, said he didn’t believe her now because of her “very vicious mood at campaign rallies.”
“She grandstanded and she didn’t want to do it,” he added.
“You should see the things the four of them have said about Israel over the last couple of years,” Trump said, referring to Tlaib and Omar, as well as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley, though he did not offer specifics about what he was referring to.
Trump said he had nothing to do with Israel’s decision to bar Omar and Tlaib, despite encouraging the country to ban them before Israel announced its decision. He said the trip was designed to be “a propaganda tour against Israel.”
Trump also escalated his call for a ban on the two lawmakers, suggesting all four of the Democrats should be barred from entering Israel.
“It would be bad to let them in – the four, I’m talking about all four,” he said.
CNN’s Clare Foran and Ellie Kaufman contributed to this report.