He did not name anyone specifically, but the attack on “progressive Democrat Congresswomen” appeared to be aimed at Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
All are women of color, and all but one were, like Trump, were born in the United States.
The tweets called to mind Trump’s years of racist “birther” attacks on former President Barack Obama.
With most elected Republicans silent after the attacks, an emboldened Trump fired off a new series of tweets later in the day ― this time working Israel into the mix:
Trump on Monday rekindled his attack both on Twitter and while speaking with reporters outside the White House.
When a reporter asked him whether he believes his earlier comments about the congresswomen were “racist,” he answered, “not at all.”
“If somebody has a problem with our country, if somebody doesn’t want to be in our country, they should leave,” he said while participating in the third annual “Made in America” product showcase.
Earlier in the morning, he accused the congresswomen of “racist hatred” on Twitter.
The president, who has frequently used profanity, also demanded that the lawmakers “apologize...for the foul language they have used” — likely referring to Tlaib calling on Congress after taking office in January to “impeach the motherfucker.”
This article has been updated to include Trump’s comments on Monday.