Mon, Jul 22, 2019 - Page 5 News List

Trump relished rally chant, Ocasio-Cortez says

‘NOT GOING ANYWHERE’:US President Donald Trump ‘took it in’ as his supporters chanted ‘Send her back’ about a naturalized lawmaker, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said

Reuters, NEW YORK

US President Donald Trump relished a chant by the crowd at a campaign rally last week that called for a Democratic representative to be sent back where she came from, US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said on Saturday.

Trump renewed his criticism of four minority women lawmakers on Friday, saying that they had said horrible things about the US and defended himself from criticism over his comment that they should leave the US if unhappy.

A day after saying his audience in North Carolina went too far when they chanted “Send her back!” about Somalia-born US Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, he defended the crowd members as “incredible patriots.”

Appearing before her constituents in New York City for the first time since the latest flare-up between Trump and the four Democratic representatives, Ocasio-Cortez rejected the US president’s statement that he had tried to quiet the crowd, saying he had egged them on instead.

“Roll back the tape... He relished it. He took it in and he’s doing this intentionally,” she told about 200 constituents gathered for a town hall meeting on immigration at a school in the Corona section of Queens.

Video of the crowd in North Carolina shouting “Send her back!” shows Trump pausing his speech and looking around the arena for about 10 seconds.

The US president’s attacks on the four representatives — known on Capitol Hill as “the squad” — have been condemned by Democrats as racist, while many Republicans have shrugged them off.

Last weekend, Trump ignited a firestorm by saying on Twitter that the four should “go back” to where they came from if they do not like the US.

All four are US citizens. Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan were born in the US, while Omar came as a refugee from Somalia and is a naturalized US citizen.

All four are known as sharp critics of Trump’s policies as well as the Democratic leadership in the US House of Representatives.

Ocasio-Cortez said the US president’s comments had been hurtful, but “men like him” have been telling women like her to go back to their own country for a long time.

“We’re gonna stay right here,” she said to applause. “That’s where we’re gonna go,” she said. “We’re not going anywhere.”

Meanwhile, a white man has admitted cursing at a pregnant black Georgia lawmaker for taking too many items into a supermarket express lane, but denied telling her to “go back where you came from.”

Eric Sparkes showed up during a WSB-TV interview with Georgia Representative Erica Thomas of Austell on Saturday outside the Atlanta-area Publix store, where the incident occurred, the station reported.

He denied making any racially charged comment, adding: “I am Cuban.”

Thomas confronted Sparkes in front of reporters and said he had “degraded and berated” her.

In a tearful Facebook video posted on Friday, Thomas said she was in the express line because she is nine months pregnant and cannot stand for long.

On Saturday, Sparkes told reporters that he called her a vulgarity, but did not say anything racial.

Thomas said Sparkes was just trying to make himself look better.

Additional reporting by AP

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