Trump Doubles Down on Stupid

The President is defending his racist tweets against four Democratic Congresswomen, calling them Communists who hate America.

Yesterday’s idiotic, racist tweets were apparently just the beginning of a new strategy.

President Trump on Monday stepped up his attacks on four progressive, minority Democratic lawmakers, which were widely condemned by Democrats as racist and unbecoming of an American president.

One day after Trump said the women should “go back” to their home countries, even though all are U.S. citizens, the president denied he was being racist and expressed no remorse when told that white nationalist groups found common cause with his message.

“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House during an event designed to highlight American manufacturing.

Trump said the members of Congress “hate our country,” harbor hatred of Jews and love for terrorist groups and are “free to leave” the U.S. if they choose.

“They can leave. And you know what? I’m sure there will be many people that won’t miss them. But they have to love our country. They’re congresspeople,” he said.

The president’s attacks were aimed at Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). The first three were all born in the U.S. and the latter is a naturalized citizen who was a refugee from Somalia.

“I’m saying that they’re socialists definitely. As to whether or not they’re communists, I would think they might be,” the president continued, adding in an apparent shot at his critics that “politicians can’t be afraid to take them on.”

Trump’s sustained barrage appeared to be aimed at firing up his mostly white political base ahead of the 2020 presidential election. But it also galvanized infighting-plagued Democrats in the House and exposed rifts within the Republican Party over Trump’s rhetoric.

Trump spoke shortly after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rallied support for a forthcoming resolution that would condemn the president’s statements as xenophobic. The move came after the president doubled down on his criticism of the lawmakers in a string of Monday morning tweets, in which he called on them to apologize for their “foul language & racist hatred.”

The president responded by accusing Pelosi of making “a very racist statement” when she said he wanted to “make America white again.”

“If they want to gear their wagons around these four people, I think they’re going to have a very tough election because I don’t think the people of the United States are going to stand for it,” Trump said of the Democrats.

After remaining silent over the weekend after Trump leveled his initial attacks, a growing number of GOP lawmakers who mostly represent swing states and congressional districts criticized the comments.

“I am confident that every Member of Congress is a committed American. @realDonaldTrump’s tweets from this weekend were racist and he should apologize. We must work as a country to rise above hate, not enable it,” tweeted Rep. Michael Turner, a Republican who represents a safe Ohio district, according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

We’ll see whether Turner is an aberration or whether other decent Republicans follow suit. Sadly, I’d bet heavily on the former.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Donald Trump
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. KM says:

    Wonder what Fox and Friends will say? After all, they tried to pass this off as a joke.

    As correspondent Griff Jenkins read Trump’s tweet aloud, the other hosts giggled, and Jedediah Bila remarked, “Someone’s feeling very comedic today,” and Todd Piro referred to Trump as “comedian-in-chief.”

    Ha ha ha, oh wait he’s doubling down and this is supposed to be a super serious attack on ‘dem evil Commies. Crap, spin the “joke” into serious talk or just sing the same ‘ole tune “You Hate America!” again? It was really popular in the Bush years so why not air the newest cover version “Donnie Says Commies That Hate America Should Go Back Where They Came From (Even If They Are Native Born)”? GOP’s tone-deaf lately anyways…

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  2. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    The party of racism will love this shit.

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  3. grumpy realist says:

    Makes me wonder how many pictures of Trump + underage females are in that stash of photos investigators discovered at Epstein’s place?

    Deflect, deflect, deflect….

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  4. KM says:

    Jesus Christ, now they’re trying to spin his BS by claiming he didn’t actually tweet that…… showing a screenshot of the tweet where he literally wrote that!!! Matt Wolking is now claiming that Trump didn’t mean “go back to where you come from” in like a racist like “OMG brown person go back to Mexico” sense but rather to go back to the sh^tholes from when they came and report back “how it’s done”. He includes screenshots to prove this point, highlights and all.

    Above the highlighted “point” is still the phrase “totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.” Soooooo, still talking sh^t about America, native-born American citizens and is still blatantly racist but hey! He said they can come back…. to America, the apparently totally broken and crime-infested place he was talking about! See libs, not racist you just can’t read the tweet he clearly didn’t tweet in front of your lying eyes. I supposed he thought he was just talking sh^ about NYC, Detroit, Dearborn and Minneapolis but since when has Boston or Anoka been on the alt-right’s list of “no-go zones”?

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  5. David S. says:

    Someone needs to tell Trump to go back to Germany.

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  6. gVOR08 says:

    @David S.: He followed up this morning with,

    “If you’re not happy in the U.S., if you complain all the time, very simply – you can leave. You can leave right now.”

    Doesn’t “complain all the time” pretty well describe Trump? So yes, back to Germany with him.

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  7. Kathy says:

    What else could Dennison possibly double down on?

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  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Trump Doubles Down on Stupid

    Of course he does. This is the “Hold my beer, watch this!” presidency in which he’s always trying to top himself.

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  9. Steve V says:

    And because 2004 was so much fun now he’s calling them terrorist symps.

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  10. Teve says:

    Jeff Tiedrich
    @itsJeffTiedrich

    Lindsey Graham would have helped Nixon erase the tapes

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  11. Gustopher says:

    It’s impressive that the man who holds the most powerful position in the most powerful nation on earth is such a weak man.

    How can someone win so much, and still be such a loser?

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  12. EddieInCA says:

    Listen all –

    As much as we hate it, it’s going to be effective. All he needs is those same 70,000 people in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan to win. Unless serious members of the GOP raise a stink to the point of it affecting Trump, he’s getting exactly what he wants. If 2016 showed us anything it’s that a whole lot of Trump supporters, Tea partiers, and Evangelicals are more racist than “conservative”.

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  13. CSK says:

    Trumpkins are saying he’s the greatest prez we ever had.

  14. DrDaveT says:

    @EddieInCA:

    As much as we hate it, it’s going to be effective

    With his base? Absolutely. Which is why I think the Democratic response to this needs to be to publicly thank the President for being so open and forthright about what his Party really stands for, and to invite principled Republican voters to think hard about whether naming Conservative SCOTUS justices is enough to get in return for an openly white supremacist, pro-sexual-predation, alliance-trashing administration. Now that it’s not about deniable dog-whistles, we can have that conversation publicly.

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  15. Barry says:

    James: “We’ll see whether Turner is an aberration or whether other decent Republicans follow suit. Sadly, I’d bet heavily on the former.”

    No such thing.

  16. Slugger says:

    Can’t we just ignore this? Every time this guy fills his Depends, we are not obligated to do anything. We now have a long record of vacuous blathering with no action from this guy; I vote for a simple “There you go again.” Let’s start taking him seriously when coal mining jobs become a real thing.

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  17. It’s not stupid, it’s racism.

    Granted, racism is stupid but it’s time we stopped dancing around the truth.

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  18. Kathy says:

    @EddieInCA:

    There is precedent. How effective was doubling down on the “fine people” at Charlottesville?

  19. michael reynolds says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Indeed. It’s racism, which is stupid, but more than stupid, it’s evil.

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  20. Teve says:

    Did anybody else see the blow up of the note Trump had written to himself to remember to talk about “Alcaida”?

  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    invite principled Republican voters to think hard about whether naming Conservative SCOTUS justices is enough to get in return for an openly white supremacist, pro-sexual-predation, alliance-trashing administration.

    Alas, I’m afraid that the answer is

    TEAM AMERICA:FWK YEAH!

    ETA: Still, that may be important to find out.

  22. Stormy Dragon says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Except Trump got nearly the same number of votes as Romney in 2012. The big change wasn’t the GOP getting more votes, it was the DNC getting considerably less. So the key 70,000 people isn’t Trump’s base, it was the people who didn’t vote for either.

  23. Terrye Cravens says:

    Trump is an appalling human being. I am ashamed of him. Seriously, ashamed that he is President of the United States. It will take a long time for this country to live this down.

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  24. dennis says:

    Not to diminish the gravity of this latest … infamy, or derail the topic: I’m more alarmed by Trump causing U.S. rivals and once and former allies to coalesce into new geopolitical power centers. This administration hasn’t the wherewithal or desire to launch a diplomatic counter to that. Which will mean, eventually, more superpower wars in the near future. The man is a menace, and we are all, collectively, very stupid for having inserted him into the seat of such fearsome power.

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  25. Warren Peese says:

    I agree with Robert A. George, ex-immigrant and current US citizen. In short, racist is too limiting in describing Trump’s words and acts over the years, not when terms like nativist bigot, or xenophobic bigot, or Islamophobic bigot, or anti-American bigot, or just plain bigot can also fit the bill, depending on the situation.
    https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-oped-bigot-gop-20190715-xtr5sqm5dzbq5e3f7qs2mi3vba-story.html

  26. Archway says:

    One consequence of the way Trump handles himself, which might outlast the man himself, is the message that being an obnoxious loudmouth is the fast-track to political fame and high office.

    Remember when politicians used to be terrified of making ‘gaffes’? The kind of public utterance that would have given a campaign chief a heart attack 10 years ago is completely normal today.

    Take Boris Johnson in the UK. He isn’t about to become PM despite having made a string of controversial statements over the last 20 years, he’s going to become PM *because* he’s said so many controversial things.

    I worry about aspiring politicos the world over thinking, “huh, that’s the way I get noticed. I have to act like a doofus.”

  27. Syntheseclown says:

    @David S.:

    Nobody here wants him. Thank You.

  28. James Joyner says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    It’s not stupid, it’s racism.

    Granted, racism is stupid but it’s time we stopped dancing around the truth.

    I call the weekend’s tweets “racist” in both the subhed and the introductory sentence. I’d argue that yesterday’s follow-up was just stupid blather that could have been directed at any Democrat without alteration. Saying stupid things about minority opponents is “racist” only if you reserve it for them and don’t use it against those of your own race. But Trump would absoultely say this sort of thing about Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders.

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  29. @James Joyner:

    Trump would absoultely say this sort of thing about Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders.

    Trump has certainly engaged in racist attacks on Warren with his use of the “Pochahontas” thing but I don’t see him telling Sanders or Warren to go back where they came from. That isn’t racism per se,of course, my Great-Grandparents, immigrants from Eastern Europe in the late 19th Century, and so were my Grandparents even though they were born here, it’s probably more properly called Xenophobic Bigotry. Nonetheless I don’t think it’s a coincidence that, so far at least, Trump has reserved that particular line of attack for use against people who aren’t white.

  30. James Joyner says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Trump has certainly engaged in racist attacks on Warren with his use of the “Pochahontas” thing

    I think we need to be careful in labeling everything “racist,” a term that has already lost much of its sting precisely because it’s overused. Warren is white. Trump is white. Making fun of her for having made a big deal out of having a drop of Native blood isn’t racist. Calling an actual Native female “Pocohontas” might well be racist. Here, it’s just mockery.

    but I don’t see him telling Sanders or Warren to go back where they came from.

    Right. But I called that racist. Twice. In a post not about that.

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  31. @James Joyner:

    I think the racism regarding the “Pochahontas” thing is more rooted in how Native Americans view it. Indeed, I recall Trump using it during what was supposed to be a tribute to one of the last Navajo code talkers. Several Native American groups said subsequently that they considered the smear to be offensive and racist.

    And I didn’t mean for my comment to be a criticism of the post. It was more directed at some of the general response to this latest Trump tirade. I agree we need to be careful when using a word like “racist,” but in this case the shoe fits and it is consistent with a history on Trump’s part that goes back to the 1970s when Trump and his father were denying housing to people based on the color of their skin.

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  32. James Joyner says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Yes, that’s fair. I consider the “Pocahontas” thing more of a schoolboy taunt that’s beneath the dignity of the office than racism. I suspect American Indians are among the “good” races in Trump’s weird worldview.

  33. Guarneri says:

    Meanwhile, back in the real world, Trump has made the Squids the face of the Democrat party. The Squids will work out about as good as that silly embrace of Avennati.

    Carry on.

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  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Joyner:

    I suspect American Indians are among the “good” races in Trump’s weird worldview.

    Don’t put any money on that.

  35. KM says:

    @James Joyner:

    I think we need to be careful in labeling everything “racist,” a term that has already lost much of its sting precisely because it’s overused.

    Is it being “overused” or are people finally calling out things for what they are instead of using verbal slightest of hand? If it’s everywhere now, is it because people are using it as the new buzzwords or maybe they just finally decided to call an ass an ass. Everyone so *careful* not to use the word “racist” because of the baggage involved so we hem and haw, split hairs and favor the letter of the law instead of the spirit. To quote George Carlin, this is “soft language” and is being used to deliberately deaden the harsh impact of the R-word. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by implying they’re something as horrible as a racist unless we’re *absolutely* sure, now do we?

    Trump’s attacks are simply racist. @Doug’s term of xenophobic bigotry is technically correct and it’s not. The only way native-born Americans can be subject to xenophobic bigotry – defined as fear of the Other – is if they are seen as Other instead of American. The only way that happens is if someone deliberately targets something obvious about their appearance to mark them as other…. and since that’s clearly skin tone, it falls right back into racism. It’s been noted 3 of these women are more American then Melania (native!) and all 4 have been citizens for way longer. Guess who’s not getting hit with xenophobia for being an immigrant and who is?

    People need to stop trying to minimize this. The freaking President, in the Rose Garden, is being flat out racist and he’s getting an assist from everyone trying to soften his language due to “concerns”. If we wait till he’s calling people the N-word to break out the proper term, it’s too late. He’s making it *incredibly* clear where he’s going with this tone and his official actions. We need to stop arguing if it’s an iceberg or minor glacier piece temporarily separated and out of location – we need to acknowledge we hit the damn thing and it’s sinking the ship!!

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  36. Guarneri says:

    Trumps comments are racist only in TDS heads.

    Anyone paying attention will notice Trump does not choose targets by race, but by who takes positions in opposition to his agenda. The notion that they are born of racial animus is a simplistic notion crafted by desperate and intellectually empty foes.

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  37. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Guarneri:
    The one in which an old white racist male defends another old white racist male.
    Are women of color the face of the Democratic party? I’m not afraid of that. Why are you, Drew?
    What is it about women that scares you?
    What is it about colored people that scares you?

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  38. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Guarneri:
    Drew…you have gone around the bend.
    Individual-1’s entire Presidency is based upon birtherism.
    Please explain how a factually unfounded conspiracy theory about Obama is because of political opposition?
    I see your attraction to Dennison; he is the poor man’s idea of a rich man, and a stupid man’s idea of a smart man.
    SAD!!!

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  39. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Interesting that Dennison’s racist comments has everyone forgetting about his pedophile friends. Almost like he is doing it intentionally.

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  40. Barry says:

    @Archway: “Remember when politicians used to be terrified of making ‘gaffes’? The kind of public utterance that would have given a campaign chief a heart attack 10 years ago is completely normal today.”

    It’s even worse – the people who benefit from this will be the evil ones. Decent politicians will still suffer.

  41. Jen says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Exactly.

    He’s an idiot, but he must have realized that the quickest way to divert attention from his best-buddy pedophile story was to say something horrifically racist about four sitting members of Congress.

    Our country is getting weaker every day he is in office.

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  42. mattbernius says:

    @Guarneri:
    Shitty racist apologist surprisingly doesn’t see racism.

    How surprising. After all he’s gone on record multiple times saying he doesn’t think Trump is a racist.

  43. mattbernius says:

    @Guarneri:

    Anyone paying attention will notice Trump does not choose targets by race, but by who takes positions in opposition to his agenda.

    Can you remind me of when he said affirmed Socialist Bernie Sanders should go back to the shithole he came from?

    Or anything similar to anyone who was clearly white?

  44. Deathcar2000 says:

    I don’t want to step on toes, but most people that hold to racist ideas don’t believe they’re racist. What they somewhat believe is that they are “truth tellers” and aren’t cowtowing to PC tropes. Many of them don’t see them selves as the bad guy in their story. They just want to go back to a time when people could, to borrow a rather unfortunate phrase, call a spade a spade. They are again on the wrong side of history but don’t see it that way. But will dig in deeper when called out on it. They hold to the wrong headed idea that the people that point out the “racist” garbage they spew are in fact the “real racists”. Nobody will change their position when being call before the man, but will in time soften their position while nobody is looking. Then claim that they never held any of their previous positions. It happens, it happened, it is occurring right now.

  45. Guarneri says:

    Everyone happy?

    More importantly, anyone think the race card hasn’t passed its effective date? Run with it, people. Run with it. Just keep 9% in your heads.

  46. ER says:

    @EddieInCA:
    I think that if Pelosi could get with the program & allow the sting of an official Impeachment process to occur with Public Hearings in the House, the VERY BAD & LASTING PR EFFECT alone might be worth another $300 Million in Democratic Fundraising. It’s also the correct thing to do legally, & frankly, Pelosi is not a lawyer. The Dems definitely need to get unconventional & not worry about getting a “Conviction” from the equally corrupt GOP. The point is that there are enough dense people out there (who vote for Trump) who will believe that an Impeachment in the House IS a conviction, & the ultimate smear. It could peel off many of these knee-jerkers!!.. That’s my 2 cents!!- 🙂

  47. Frank says:

    @EddieInCA: Hi Eddie! It was 61 million nation wide and thank God for the electoral college or else people like you would actually have voted Hillary Clinton into office! How’s the poop map project doing in lovely Commifornia? Maybe the black on black crime rate in Chiraq? How about those democrat campaign finance law challenges for Cortez… just swept under the rug just like the $500M Pelosi-Solyndra debacle… if nothing else you have to admit that the facts solidly state democrats are the party of the KKK, death and communism so why try to disguise it??? Well its simple really, you and those like you are not really honest to yourselves so if you had to face the truth you would not be able to bear the burden that you are and always have been the Bizarro World Party of the United States.