US President Donald Trump has been accused of racism after posting tweets attacking Democratic congresswomen.
He claimed the women “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe”, before suggesting they “go back”.
The tweet was directed at a group of four congresswomen of colour; three were born and raised in the US while the fourth moved to the US as a child. Republican Party representatives kept quiet amid a wave of criticism.
The congresswomen — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar, who came to the US as a refugee aged 12 — have all called the president racist, and have been backed by members of the Democratic Party.
Ocasio-Cortez was born in the Bronx in New York, approximately 12 miles away from the Queens hospital where Trump was born.
The British Prime Minister, Theresa May said Trump’s remarks were “completely unacceptable”. In a three-tweet thread, Trump accused the congresswomen of “viciously” criticising him and the US.
The president did not explicitly name the women he was talking about, but the context — and references to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — made a clear link. He said Pelosi would happily organise for them to leave the country.
A week ago, Pelosi clashed with the four women — sometimes nicknamed “the squad” — but she has since come to their defence following his tweets.
The president wrote: “So interesting to see ‘progressive’ Democrat congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful nation on earth, how our government is to be run.
“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done.
“These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”
There have been internal feuds among Democrats over a border funding package, with Pelosi arguing in favour of the package, and the four women — all newcomers to Congress with a progressive agenda — voting against. — BBC