Donald Trump says Democratic congresswomen should "go back" to countries "from which they came"

Trump tweeted Sunday that liberal Democratic congresswomen should "go back" to their supposed countries of origin

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published July 14, 2019 12:00PM (EDT)

 (Getty/Tasos Katopodis)
(Getty/Tasos Katopodis)

President Donald Trump posted a series of tweets on Sunday that rhetorically suggested unnamed "'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen" — most likely the progressive coalition of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — should "go back" to countries "from which they came."

"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," Trump wrote in a series of three tweets on Sunday. "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!"

While Trump did not specifically name the progressive congresswomen in question, it is likely that he was referring to the so-called "Squad" of four that have been feuding with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in recent weeks. The only one of those four not born in the United States is Omar, who immigrated from Somalia. Tlaib was born in Detroit to Palestinian parents, Pressley was born in Cincinnati to African American parents and Ocasio-Cortez was born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents (the Trump administration has previously expressed confusion about Puerto Rico's status, depicting it as another country when it is part of the United States).

Trump has seized on opportunities to attack the Squad of left-wing Democrats, even defending Pelosi in order to do so. After Ocasio-Cortez blasted Pelosi to The Washington Post for "the persistent singling out" and "outright disrespectful" treatment of "newly elected women of color," Trump told reporters that "I'll tell you something about Nancy Pelosi that you know better than I do, she is not a racist. OK? She is not a racist. For them to call her a racist is a disgrace." Ocasio-Cortez later told CNN's Manu Raju, when asked if she thought Pelosi is a racist, "No, no! Absolutely not, absolutely not."

The war of words between Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez and her allies has occurred since the start of the current congressional session. After the Squad stood out for voting against a border funding bill that was supported by a majority of Democratic representatives, Pelosi told The New York Times that "all these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world, but they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got."

Ocasio-Cortez responded on Twitter by writing, "That public 'whatever' is called public sentiment, and wielding the power to shift it is how we actually achieve meaningful change in this country."

She later added, "I find it strange when members act as though social media isn’t important. They set millions of ? on ? to run TV ads so people can see their message. I haven’t dialed for dollars *once* this year, & have more time to do my actual job. Yet we’d rather campaign like it’s 2008."

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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