Political expert: President trying to make Dems seem more extreme than him
President Donald Trump is not backing down from a Twitter tirade in which he called on four Democratic congresswomen of color to go back to their "broken and crime infested" countries.
"As far as I'm concerned, if you hate our country, if you're not happy here, you can leave," Trump said.
The president was widely criticized for the controversial series of tweet he posted over the weekend. Trump appeared to take aim at a group of freshmen, female lawmakers of color known collectively as "the squad." The president tweeted that progressive Democratic congresswomen should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."
Many people say the tweets are racist. Matt Kraljic of Riverhead says he's appalled.
"There's no need for that. This is America, everyone is supposed to be accepted in this country, regardless of their views," Kraljic said.
Many political experts believe this is part of a broader strategy.
"What he's trying to do is, he knows that Americans don't like extremists. And he is an extremist by definition, on the right. So what he's trying to do, is to make those Democratic Congress people look like they are even more extreme than he is, and they are more extreme because they are un-American," Michael Dawidziak, a political consultant, said.
Some supporters say they agree with the president, saying if someone working in the government doesn't like the country, they should leave.
Trump's tweet drew criticism from several lawmakers, including some Republicans.
Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice tweeted, "President Trump is a bigot and a racist."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says congressional Democrats will draft a resolution formally condemning Trump's remarks.
Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Muslim-American who was born in Somalia, equated the president's rhetoric with white nationalism Monday.
"This is the agenda of white nationalists. Whether it is in chat rooms, or it's happening on national TV. And now it's reached the White House garden," Omar said.
Trump says he is not a racist, but that Omar is an anti-Semite.