As President Trump continued his attack against four Democratic congresswomen of color, the self-proclaimed “squad” responded in a joint interview that aired on “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday, saying that they will not be distracted by him.
“I think that America has always been a story and America has always been about the triumph of people who fight for everyone versus those who want to preserve rights for just a select few,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., told Gayle King. “And there is no bottom to the barrel of vitriol that will be used and weaponized to stifle those who want to advance rights for all people in the United States.”
On Tuesday, the House voted to condemn Trump’s tweets that suggested that Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., should “go back” to their “broken and crime infested” countries. All of the lawmakers are U.S. citizens, and three of the four were born in the United States.
“This is a person that really wants to vilify, demonize not only immigrants, but even communities of color as many of my sisters here have been talking about,” Tlaib said. “It is very much a distraction, getting us unfocused.”
[Yahoo News 360: Fallout from Trump’s attacks on ‘the Squad’]
The congresswomen did not refer to Trump by name.
“We can talk about and spin out on hate, about hateful words which are a predictable prompt by the occupant of this White House,” said Pressley.
“I call him that not because I don’t have respect for the Oval Office,” Pressley explained. “He does not embody the principles, the responsibility, the grace, the integrity of a true president and so for that reason, I’m not dishonoring the office. He does every day.”
“This is a distraction,” she added. “This is a disruption on our leading and legislating and governing on the issues of care and concern and consequence of the American people.”
The freshman congresswomen, who have banded together over their progressive agenda, have had disagreements with Democratic leadership, recently clashing with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
King asked Ocasio-Cortez how she responds to critics who believe she should wait to “understand how Washington works” before unveiling ambitious policy proposals like the Green New Deal.
“The entire freshman class I would argue, regardless of ideology, was sent here because Americans are sick of how Washington works,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “So why would I learn a broken playbook?”
Meanwhile, Trump has refused to apologize for his tweet, saying that if the congresswomen don’t like the way he is governing the country, they are free to leave. He specifically called out Omar, a Somali-born Muslim who came under fire earlier this year for a pair of tweets that suggested political support for Israel is driven by money. She subsequently apologized for invoking anti-Semitic tropes.
In the interview with King, Omar said she doesn’t regret her tweets because she learned from them.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to really learn how my words made people feel,” she said, “and have taken every single opportunity I’ve gotten to make sure that people understood that I apologize.”
But Tlaib, who told supporters “we’re going to impeach the motherf****er” shortly after being sworn in to Congress, was unapologetic for her remark.
“I didn’t do it on the House Floor,” Tlaib said. “I’m real. This is who I am. I’m rooted in where I come from and it’s very common for me and for many of my residents to say things like that.”
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