U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told unnamed Democratic congresswomen to “go back” from where they came from. His comments have been termed a “racist” by senior Democrats.

In a tweet, Trump referred to “‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen,” which was apparently a reference to a group of young, outspoken, liberal women, all of whom happen to be first-time members of the House of Representatives.

“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 said in a series of tweets.

While no names were mentioned, the comments appeared to be targeted at Democrat lawmakers  — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. The group, which is also known as “the squad” has been very critical of Trump and also of the current Democratic leadership of the House.

Ocasio-Cortez, who was born in New York, has Puerto Rico, a US territory. Tlaib, born in Detroit, is the first American of Palestinian descent elected to Congress. Only Omar, who fled war-torn Somalia as a child and came to the United States as a refugee, is born out of US and is the first black Muslim woman in Congress.

“Mr. President, the country I ‘come from,’ and the country we all swear to, is the United States,” Ocasio-Cortez, responded on Twitter, adding, “You are angry because you can’t conceive of an America that includes us. You rely on a frightened America for your plunder.”

Support for the Democratic Congresswomen also poured in from several corners in the party, following Trump’s comments.

“That’s a racist tweet. These are American citizens elected by voters in the United States of America,” Assistant House Speaker Ben Ray Lujan, the highest-ranking Latino member of Congress, said on Fox News Sunday.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, who had clashed with the “progressive” Democrat group, also came to their defence Sunday, calling the President’s comments “xenophobic.”

“When Mr Donald Trump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again,” she said on Twitter.

She further added, “Rather than attack Members of Congress, he (Trump) should work with us for humane immigration policy that reflects American values.”

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