Presidents Donald Trump’s urging of Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to the countries they came from on Sunday has drawn widespread condemnation, with congressional Democrats declaring his rhetoric racist, xenophobic and bigoted.
There was just one thing immediately missing (beyond an apology): a rebuke from their Republican counterparts.
The deafening silence came after Trump went on a Twitter rant against “‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen” who, in his words, came from “countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world.”
Though he didn’t identify his targets by name, they appeared to be Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. The four have been in the news lately amid increased tension between them and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
All four women of color have been outspoken critics of Trump’s handling of the immigration crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border. However, only Omar was born outside of the U.S., having immigrated as a child from Africa.
“When @realDonaldTrump 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,” Pelosi responded to Trump on Twitter shortly after. “Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power.”
Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, who recently left the Republican Party to be an independent, also called Trump’s comments “racist and disgusting.”
In contrast, the hosts of Trump’s favorite morning news program, “Fox & Friends,” applauded the president’s remarks and laughed, calling him the “comedian in chief.”
Trump’s “saying if you don’t like what this country stands for you’re not going to change it and take away all these things that Americans value so much,” said co-host Jedediah Bila. “Like, if you don’t like it, leave and go set up camp somewhere else.”
In light of the silence of Republicans, a large number of Twitter users turned on Trump’s former ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who had directed her outrage at Democrats for not talking about a report that protesters swapped an American flag with a Mexican one at an immigration center in Colorado.
“There are no words for why the Democrats are staying silent on this. If this is your way to winning an election, fire your strategist,” she tweeted Sunday morning. “This is disgusting. Love your country.”
Her own silence over Trump’s comments was declared “shameful” by users.
“Expressing fake outrage over a flag while ignoring the ongoing human rights violations at the border. Very on brand,” one Twitter user responded.