President Trump unleashed another Twitter-storm Tuesday morning, as the House of Representatives prepared to take up a resolution rebuking him for racist tweets aimed at four of his sharpest critics in Congress.
The 4-page resolution “twice refers to ‘racist comments’ by Trump but does not call the president a racist,” says NBC News.
But a number of individual lawmakers have done just that, and in one of his tweets Tuesday, the president repudiated the notion, writing that his “Tweets were NOT racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!”
The targets of Trump’s fury are progressive women of color — first-term Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, all of whom have called for impeaching the president. Tlaib has occasionally used obscene language.
“In his latest tweets, Trump accused the four lawmakers of being ‘Horrible anti-Israel, anti-USA, pro-terrorist’ and took issue with the ‘public shouting of the F…word, among many other terrible things,’” reports the Washington Post.
The president motivated the House resolution against him with an earlier series of tweets on Sunday, in which he said the four Congresswomen, all U.S. citizens, should “go back” to “the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” adding that “you can’t leave fast enough.”
Only Omar was born outside the United States, in Somalia, and was brought to America as a child by her parents, fleeing a civil war. Omar became a U.S. citizen as a teenager.
On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sent a letter to her fellow Democrats, saying Trump had sunk below “his own low standards using disgraceful language about Members of Congress” and declaring that her party would “forcefully respond to these disgusting acts.”
It appears certain that the resolution will pass, with all Democrats and (perhaps) a handful of Republicans voting for it. The vote will also force Republican lawmakers to go on the record with their views of the president’s purported racism.
From a broader perspective, the skirmish over the resolution could signal all-out political war in the months ahead.
“Both the willingness of Republicans to attach extremist labels to Democrats and the Democratic assault against Mr. Trump as a racist and white supremacist presage a particularly bitter 2020 campaign,” says the New York Times.
Writing in the Post, James Hohmann lists a series of “takeaways” from the dispute, including:
- Trump’s rhetoric is creating a more dangerous climate and corroding the public discourse.
- Trump’s “go back” rhetoric is consistent not only with his own long history of attacks on people he perceives as the other but also the nation’s oscillating attitudes toward immigration throughout its history.
- White identity politics is driving Trump as 2020 approaches, and the Republican Party that he’s remaking in his image.
- This will make it more difficult for Trump to advance his agenda on Capitol Hill.
- The world is watching. Trump’s comments hurt America’s standing in the world.