In a series of Sunday morning tweets quickly deemed racist and xenophobic by critics, U.S. President Donald Trump has provoked fresh controversy with taunts at several new members of Congress.
Trump on Twitter, targeted Progressive Democratic Congresswomen, telling them to "go back" and help fix the "crime infested" countries from which they came.
Of the four apparently targeted, only one — Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a native of Somalia — is foreign born. The other three are native Americans: Ayana Pressley (who is a representative from Massachusetts) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a native New Yorker (and represents the eastern part of the Bronx and a portion of north-central Queens), and Rashid Tlaib, of Michigan, was born in Detroit.
The White House has not responded to a request from VOA on whether the president was aware prior to sending the tweets that three of the four are citizens by birth.
The progressives have been squabbling with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over immigration policy and other issues.
The dispute has attracted Trump’s attention in recent days, even prompting him to utter rare public support for Pelosi – at least when it comes to her attempt to rein in the newly elected foursome.
Trump’s tweets about the minority, novice female members of Congress, known as “the squad,” came about 20 minutes after a segment about them on the Fox News Channel. The president frequently reacts quickly on social media to what he sees on Fox.
Omar, in particular, has been a frequent topic of critical coverage on the cable television channel, in part due to her frequent criticism of Israel and comments perceived as anti-Semitic.
Omar and Tlaib are the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress.
In a Twitter response to Trump on Sunday, Omar reminded him that the United States is the only country to which members of Congress swear an oath.
“Which is why we are fighting to protect it from the worst, most corrupt and inept president we have ever seen,” the Minnesotan added.
Many others on social media are condemning Trump’s tweet, which even by his provocative norms are viewed as crossing a new line.
Among the most prominent is Pelosi, who terms Trump’s remark xenophobic, “meant to divide our nation” and “reaffirm his plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again.”
Source : VOA