Donald Trump says he was 'not happy' his fans chanted 'send her back' at campaign rally after row with congresswoman Ilhan OmarJuly 18, 2019
DONALD Trump said he was "not happy" his fans chanted "send her back" at a fiery speech denouncing Somali-born US congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
Speaking after 8,000 of his fans chanted for Omar to be deported, he said: "I was not happy with it. I disagree with it."
He added: I felt a little bit badly about it. I didn't say that. they did.
When asked why he didn't stop his supporters chanting, he replied "I think I did. I started speaking very quickly."
The remarks came after he intensified his attacks against ‘The Squad’ of Democrats amid outcry over his tweets about them which were branded “racist”.
Despite the criticism, Trump went on a 20-minute rant about them on Wednesday, saying they are welcome to leave the country if they do not like his policies.
US PRES 'TRIED TO STOP CHANTS'
"So these congresswomen, their comments are helping to fuel the rise of a dangerous, militant hard left," US President told the crowd in North Carolina.
"Tonight I have a suggestion for the hate-filled extremists who are constantly trying to tear our country down.
“They never have anything good to say. That's why I say: 'Hey, if they don't like it, let them leave. Let them leave’.”
Democratic freshmen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib all felt Trump’s wrath in the speech.
But Somalia-born Omar came under particular scrutiny as Trump took his time skewering her past comments.
'SEND HER BACK' CHANTS
Trump accused Omar, who came to the US as a child after fleeing Somalia with her family, of blaming terrorist attacks on the US.
He added: “And obviously and importantly Omar has a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic screed.
“And she talked about the ‘evil Israel’ and it’s ‘all about the Benjamins,’” the President added.
This refers to a tweet from Omar, where she claimed support for Israel in many political circles was “all about the Benjamins”.
Trump’s attack fired up his followers at East Carolina University, who burst into a chant of “send her back, send her back”.
Jon Favreau, former director of speechwriting for President Obama and host of the Pod Save America podcast, said in a tweet the chants had been "one of the most chilling and horrifying things [he'd] ever seen in politics."
Trump even suggested that Omar may have married her own brother.
"There’s a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother. I know nothing about it. I hear she was married to her brother," he told reporters.
"You’re asking me a question about it. I don’t know, but I’m sure that somebody will be looking at that."
Trump was referring to unsubstantiated rumours suggesting Omar had been married to two men at the same time.
These rumours first emerged on far right blogs after Omar ran for a seat in the Minnesota House.
Despite having no evidence any of their claims were true, the bloggers even suggested one of the two men, Ahmed Nur Said, was Omar's own brother.
Omar has previously branded the allegations "disgusting lies".
OMAR FIRES BACK 'I AM WHERE I BELONG'
Omar has since fired back, tweeting a picture of herself in the House with the caption: “I am where I belong, at the people’s house and you’re just gonna have to deal!”
She also tweeted a verse from poet and activist Maya Angelou.
“You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise,” the verse reads.
Trump also railed against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, referring to her simply as “Cortez”.
“I don’t have time to go with three different names. I’ll call her Cortez,” said Trump before describing how the congresswoman claimed migrants at the border were being housed in “concentration camps.”
About Tlaib, Trump said she “used the f-word to describe the presidency and the president. That’s not nice, even for me.”
Trump jokingly questioned if Pressley is related to Elvis, before asserting, “She thinks that people with the same skin colour all need to think the same.”
His speech comes four days after Trump sparked outrage with a series of tweets questioning the right of a number of minority congresswoman to criticise his administration.
On Sunday, the president wrote: "So interesting to see… Democrat Congresswoman, who originally came from countries whose government are a complete and total catastrophe, …telling the people of the United States… 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."
No representative was named, but the tweets have been widely interpreted to be referring Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley and Tlaib.
All are US citizens of minority heritage, with only Omar, who moved to the US from Somalia as a child, having been born outside the US.
Representatives from both the Democratic and Republican parties have said publicly that the comments were racist.
BID TO IMPEACH TRUMP DEFEATED
In his speech on Wednesday, Trump actually praised the House Democrats, who had earlier voted against a motion to impeach him.
The House voted on Wednesday to kill a resolution by Democrat Rep. Al Green to introduce an article of impeachment against Trump.
In a landslide victory for Trump, the motion was easily defeated by 332 votes to 95.
“I want to thank those Democrats because many of them voted for us. The vote was totally lopsided,” Trump told the crowd in North Carolina.
But he also took time to skewer some of the Democrats vying to be their party's candidate in the 2020 race.
He repeated his frequent reference to U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren as "Pocahontas," a dig about a controversy over her heritage that Warren and Native American groups have complained is racist.
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