Donald Trump doubled down on his strategy of attacking four progressive congresswomen of color despite some backlash from within his own party, saying he doesn’t care how it affects him politically.
“I don’t know if it’s good or bad politically. I don’t care,” Trump told reporters of his attack against the group of Democratic lawmakers, known as the “Squad,” as he departed the White House for a weekend in New Jersey.
“Many people say it’s good. I don’t know if it’s good or bad,” he continued. “I can tell you this: You can’t talk that way about our country. Not when I”m the president.”
Trump acknowledged that the Democratic lawmakers he has targeted have First Amendment rights, but maintained he has a right to voice displeasure.
Just two days ago Trump’s, said that he believed he was winning the political fight in going after Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.
But Democrats and some Republican lawmakers have expressed concerns about Trump’s rhetoric and tweets, and a “send her back” chant about Omar that broke out at his Wednesday night rally in North Carolina.
The president has refused to back down, however, and reiterated to reporters on Friday his belief that the four lawmakers “hate our country.”
Later, Trump was asked what his wife thought of the situation and whether she should be “sent back” where she came from.
“The first lady feels very strongly about our country,” Trump replied. “The first lady thinks it’s horrible what they said about Israel and horrible what they said about our country, these congresswomen. They cannot call our country and our people garbage. They can’t be anti-Semitic. They can’t talk about evil Jews, which is what they say, evil Jews. That’s what the first lady thinks.”