Trump tweet row: Don’t take the bait, congresswomen say


The four US congresswomen attacked by US President Donald Trump in a series of racially charged tweets have dismissed his remarks as a distraction.

Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib urged the US people “not to take the bait” at a Monday press conference.

Mr Trump suggested the four women – all US citizens – “can leave”.

He has defended his comments and denied allegations of racism.

Addressing reporters, the four women – known as The Squad – all said the focus should be on policy and not the president’s words.

“This is simply a disruption and a distraction from the callous chaos and corrupt culture of this administration, all the way down,” Ms Pressley said.

Both Ms Omar and Ms Tlaib repeated their calls for Mr Trump to be impeached.

Their response comes after Mr Trump launched a Twitter tirade on Sunday, telling the four women – three of whom were born in the US and one, Ms Omar, who was born in Somalia – to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”.

Ms Pressley dismissed the president’s efforts “to marginalise us and to silence us”, adding that they were “more than four people”.

“Our squad is big. Our squad includes any person committed to building a more equitable and just world,” she said.

All four women insisted that health care, gun violence, and in particular detentions of migrants on the US border with Mexico should be in focus.

“The eyes of history are watching us,” said Ms Omar said, decrying the “mass deportation raids” and “human rights abuses at the border”.

Ms Omar says Mr Trump’s “blatantly racist attack” on four women of colour was “the agenda of white nationalists”, adding that he would like “nothing more than to divide our country”.



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