Minnesota DFL issues statement: 'We deserve so much better from our president'

DFL Statement: “Representative Ilhan Omar became an American citizen almost 20 years ago because she wanted to be part of our great country and to live the American Dream. Donald Trump telling her to go back to her home country is flat out racist and goes against the founding principles of our nation."

Posted: Jul 15, 2019 8:27 AM
Updated: Jul 15, 2019 8:58 PM

Minnesota DFL (Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party) Party Chairman Ken Martin said “we deserve so much better from our president” a day after President Trump’s tweets aimed at four congresswomen of color.

“Representative Ilhan Omar became an American citizen almost 20 years ago because she wanted to be part of our great country and to live the American Dream. Donald Trump telling her to go back to her home country is flat out racist and goes against the founding principles of our nation," Martin said. “Before we are Democrats or Republicans, we are Americans. It is deeply disturbing that, instead of bringing Americans together to solve our common problems, Donald Trump has spent his presidency trying to divide our country for political gain.

“We deserve so much better from our president.”

President Donald Trump said four congresswomen of color should go back to the "broken and crime infested" countries they came from, ignoring the fact that all of the women are American citizens and three were born in the U.S. His attack drew a searing condemnation from Democrats who labeled the remarks racist and breathtakingly divisive.

Even as White House officials moved Monday to defend his incendiary weekend tweets, Trump refused to apologize and asked on Twitter when "the Radical Left Congresswomen" would "apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said."

"So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!" he wrote.

Trump had starkly injected race into his criticism of liberal Democrats over the weekend, drawing searing condemnation from Democrats who labeled the remarks racist and breathtakingly divisive.

Asked whether Trump's comments were racist, Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, defended Trump, telling reporters he had been responding to "very specific" comments made by Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who was born in Somalia, and not making a "universal statement."

But Trump didn't make that distinction in his Monday tweets. He cited "Congresswomen" — an almost-certain reference to a group of women known as "the squad" that includes Omar, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

"I don't think that the president's intent any way is racist," said Short, repeatedly pointing to Trump's decision to choose Elaine Chao, who was born outside the country, as his transportation secretary.
"The administration is welcoming of all nationalities into the United States," he said.

- The Associated Press contributed to this article. 

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