Following US President Donald Trump’s remarks on four Democratic party congresswomen, the latter have dismissed the comments as a distraction. The four US congresswomen attacked by US President Donald Trump in tweets widely called racist have dismissed his remarks as a distraction.
Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib — also known as the squad — urged the people “not to take the bait” at a news conference on Monday.
Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib urged the US people “not to take the bait” at a Monday news conference.
Pressley dismissed the president’s efforts aimed “to marginalise us and to silence us,” adding “Our squad includes any person committed to building a more equitable and just world.”
All four women insisted that health care, gun violence and, in particular, detentions of migrants on the US border with Mexico should be in focus.
In the wake of the uproar, the four women told reporters they wanted to re-focus attention on to the president’s policies — including health care, gun violence, and particularly, the detentions of migrants on the US border with Mexico.
“This is simply a disruption and a distraction from the callous chaos and corrupt culture of this administration, all the way down,” Pressley said, while, both Omar and Tlaib reiterated their call for Trump’s impeachment.
Meanwhile Trump has defended his comments and rubbished the allegations of racism, coming in from several quarters of the US polity, soon after his comments.
He had suggested through a tirade of tweets that the four women “can leave”.
The president did not explicitly name the women in his initial tweets but the context was apparent and made a clear link to the four Democratic “progressive” women — all US citizens.
“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe… viciously telling the people of the United States… how our government is to be run,” Trump had tweeted.
Responses from Democrats and Republicans
Democrats have largely criticized the president for his “racist” comments.
However, top Republicans seemed to be muted on the issue. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said: “I don’t find them racist, the president just went on and clarified his comments,” after which he changed the subject.
While others such as Senator Lindsey Graham turned the debate on to the politics of the four women, who are seen to be progressive. Speaking to Fox News, he said they are communists and anti-America.
US Senator and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney called Mr Trump’s remarks “destructive, demeaning, and disunifying”. But when asked by the media if the comments were racist, he chose to walk away.
Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker from the Democratic party, in the time being, announced a resolution in the House to condemn the comments while urging Republicans support it.
Responses from world leaders
Several world leaders of US allies have come out to condemn the president’s remarks.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she “completely and utterly” disagreed with Trump, while Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau similarly decried the comments.
“That is not how we do things in Canada. A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian,” he said at a press conference.
Both candidates for the British prime ministerial post, condemned the attacks. Jeremy Hunt said he was “utterly appalled” by Mr Trump’s tweets, and Boris Johnson said “you simply cannot use that kind of language about sending people back to where they came from”.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May had said the remarks were “completely unacceptable”.