An energetic crowd of President Donald Trump supporters broke out in chants of 'Send her back!' as the president continued his attacks on four progressive congresswomen of color during a fiery rally in North Carolina Wednesday night.
Trump criticized the four Democratic lawmakers, collectively known as 'The Squad' - Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) - accusing them of "helping to fuel the rise of a dangerous, militant hard left" in reference to the group Antifa.
"If they don’t like it, let them leave," Trump told the crowd. "I think in some cases they hate our country."
Trump went after all four members of 'The Squad,' blasting Ocasio-Cortez for highlighting the squalid, overcrowded conditions found at migrant detention facilities on the U.S.-Mexico border and calling them concentration camps. He also accused Rep. Omar, who immigrated from Somalia as a child, of being sympathetic to terrorists.
"Omar laughed that Americans speak of al Qaeda in a menacing tone. You don’t say America with this intensity. You say al Qaeda makes you proud. Al Qaeda makes you proud. You don’t speak that way about America," he said.
The crowd began chanting "Send her back!" echoing the President's tweets on Sunday.
Omar's remarks during a 2013 interview were actually in reference to her studying terrorism history under a professor who would dramatically over-pronounce the names of terrorist groups during her class.
“The thing that was interesting in the class was every time the professor said ‘al-Qaida,’ he sort of like — his shoulders went up” Omar said, adding that her professor used a menacing tone when referring to the terrorist group. At no point did Omar say Al-Quaida should be referenced as a point of pride or that America shouldn't. Politifact, an independent, non-partisan fact-checking organization, rates Trump's depiction of her remarks as "false."
The chanting by the crowd was a reference to another popular chant that would break out during Trump rallies in 2016 - 'Lock her up!' - referencing his political opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Trump distanced himself from the crowd's chants on Thursday, telling reported that he "was not happy with it. I disagree with it."
"I felt a little bit badly about it," he said, adding, "I didn't say that. They did," referencing the crowd.
Omar responded to the chanting crowd on Twitter, quoting the poem, 'Still I Rise' by Maya Angelou.
Political figures and politicians across the spectrum pledged their support for Omar, as the hashtag #IStandWithIlhan trended overnight.
"It saddens me beyond belief that the standard-bearer for the Republican Party, my Party, is making “Send her back” his re-election rallying cry," former Republican Joe Walsh wrote on Twitter.
On Tuesday, four Republicans joined Democrats in the House to condemn Trump's remarks as racist. The president kicked off the firestorm on Sunday in a series of tweets in which he appeared to urge members of 'The Squad' to "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."
All four congresswoman Trump appeared to be referring to are American citizens. They have all highlighted the president's actions as bullying, saying Trump wants to 'vilify' people of color and called his attacks on them a distraction from the issues they are fighting for, such as lowering health care costs and passing a Green New Deal.
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