Donald Trump ramped up his efforts Wednesday night to demonize the four progressive, freshman congresswomen informally known as “the Squad,” reveling in a raucous crowd’s chants of “Send her back! Send her back!” in reference to his latest target, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
Despite a House vote Tuesday to condemn racist comments Trump made telling Omar and her fellow “Squad” members to “go back” where they came from, Trump, during a Wednesday night “Make America Great Again” rally in Greenville, N.C., continued to lob the same refrain.
“These congresswomen are helping the rise of a militant, hard left,” Trump said, the Washington Post reports. “They never have anything good to say, which is why I say, ‘If they don’t like it, let them leave.’ ... They don’t love our country and in some cases I think they hate our country.”
Trump appeared to use a kind of barely-veiled “uppity Negro” trope in his attack on Omar, accusing the Somali-born American citizen of holding “the hardworking American” in “contempt.”
Per the Daily Beast, said Trump:
“She looks down with contempt on the hardworking American, saying that ignorance is pervasive in many parts of this country,” the president said of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), to cheering from the crowd, many of whom began chanting, “Send her back,” enthusiastically joining in on the collective anti-Omar hate.
The rest of “the Squad”—Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)—weren’t spared a Trump mention either, their names being booed by the crowd when Trump named them during his remarks.
However, as the Post reports, on this Wednesday night, Trump directed most of his vitriol at Omar, “a Somali refugee who wears a hijab and is the only one of the four women who was born abroad”:
Trump listed controversial past remarks made by Omar, including her comments earlier this year that some believed to be perpetuating anti-Semitic tropes, and falsely claimed that she had praised Al-Qaeda.
Apparently, the 2016 refrain of “Lock her up!” with regard to then Trump opponent Hillary Clinton is being replaced by “Send her back!” It was directed specifically to Omar Wednesday night, but the refrain was aimed implicitly at Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley and Tlaib as a collective; a collective representative of the diverse black and brown communities from which they come.
With polls showing Republican support increasing following Trump’s initial attack on the four over the weekend, Trump is showing no sign he intends to change tactics anytime soon.
As he told the Washington Post:
“I’m not relishing the fight, I’m enjoying it,” he said. [...]
Trump has been emboldened by support from Republicans in Congress who rushed to his defense when the House voted Tuesday to condemn his incendiary remarks.
“I do think I’m winning the political fight, I think I’m winning it by a lot,” Trump said. “I think the story is that 187 Republicans voted in favor of Trump and four voted against. There is great unity in the Republican party.”
The House voted 240-to-187 to condemn Trump’s racist remarks about the congresswomen.