GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Going after four Democratic congresswomen one by one, President Donald Trump turned a campaign rally Wednesday into an extended dissection of the quartet, deriding for their liberalism and what he painted as extreme views.
After Trump suggested they leave the country, the crowd cheered in response: “Send them back! Send them back!”
Trump accused the lawmakers, all women of color, of “helping to fuel the rise of a dangerous, militant hard-left.”
Trump’s rhetoric at the North Carolina rally echoed the language he used to win in 2016.
He said earlier he has no regrets about his ongoing spat with the four women, which began with tweets widely criticized as racist.
Trump told reporters he thinks he’s “winning the political argument” and “winning it by a lot.”
Speaking as he departed the White House for a rally in Greenville, North Carolina, Trump dug in on his attacks.
Trump is showing no signs of backing down from his strategy of tying the Democratic Party to the four liberal lawmakers, even after a Democratic-led House voted to condemn his comments as racist. All four lawmakers are American citizens, and three of them were born in the United States.
“I’m enjoying it because I have to get the word out to the American people,” he said. “They’re absolutely wrong. That’s not where our country wants to be. We’re not going to go and we’re not going to be a socialist country.”
Trump began the week attacking Democratic freshmen Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, and has not relented.
In response to a question from a conservative news outlet about whether Omar should be investigated for possibly marrying her brother, Trump said: “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. You’re asking me a question about it. I don’t know, but I’m sure that somebody will be looking at that.”
Omar came to the United States as a refugee from war-torn Somalia. In 2016, as Omar was running for a seat in the Minnesota House, conservative bloggers alleged she was married to two men at the same time. Marriage records show that’s not the case. Conservatives also alleged that one of those men, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, was her brother — allegations that Omar called ”disgusting lies .”
Omar broadly denied the allegations in a statement to The Associated Press, but declined to provide documents or answer specific questions when pressed.
Calls to Omar’s press office Wednesday night went unanswered and a message could not be left. Her spokespeople did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment on the president’s statements. A man who has the same name as Omar’s ex-husband also did not reply to an email seeking comment.
Trump narrowly won North Carolina in 2016.