The four Democratic congresswomen who the president of the United States has been telling racist lies about responded on Monday with a passionate defense of the nation’s highest ideals, voiced with the conviction and controlled fury their party’s leaders have been unable to summon in the face of Donald Trump’s white supremacist trolling.
For 21 remarkable minutes on Monday, Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib took turns rejecting Trump’s racist suggestion that they were un-American for criticizing his lawless rule and promising not to be deterred by his dangerous incitement.
Speaking first, Pressley said that Trump’s political decision, following the lead of Fox News, to single out the four young women of color as his enemies was nothing more than “a distraction from the callous, chaotic, and corrupt culture of this administration.”
WATCH: "Do not take the bait," Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) warns on Trump tweets #MTPDaily— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) July 15, 2019
"I will always refer to him as 'the occupant' as he is only occupying space. He does not embody the grace, the empathy, the compassion, the integrity that that office requires." pic.twitter.com/Ke5vBA3Eez
“Despite the occupant of the White House’s attempts to marginalize us and to silence us,” Pressley added, “please know that we are more than four people. We ran on a mandate to advocate for and to represent those ignored, left out, and left behind. Our squad is big. Our squad includes any person committed to building a more equitable and just world, and that is the work that we want to get back to. And given the size of this squad in this great nation, we can not, we will not, be silenced.”
Omar, who called for Trump to be impeached, began her remarks by noting that “this country was founded on the radical idea that we are created equal and endowed by our creator with inalienable rights. And yes, we have a long way before we fully live up to this values. It is for this reason precisely that we have to take action when a president is openly violating the oath he took to the Constitution of the United States and the core values we aspire to.”
BREAKING: Congresswomen respond to President Trump's attacks #MTPDaily@IlhanMN: "It is for this reason precisely that we have to take action when a President is openly violating the oath he took to the constitution of the United States and the core values we aspire to” pic.twitter.com/jZGtHzkzbK— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) July 15, 2019
“To distract from that,” Omar said, “he’s launching a blatantly racist attack on four duly elected members of the United States House of Representatives, all of whom are women of color. This is the agenda of white nationalists.”
“I want to tell children across this country,” Ocasio-Cortez said next, “that no matter what the president says, this country belongs to you, and it belongs to everyone. And today, that notion — that very notion — was challenged.”
“Sadly, this is not the first nor will it be the last time we hear disgusting, bigoted language from the president; we know this is who he is,” Tlaib said.
“Despite this and other many attempts to distract us, I remain focused, we remain focused on holding him accountable to the laws of this land and accountable to the American people,” she added. “I urge House leadership and many of my colleagues to impeach this lawless president today.”
In response to the suggestion from a reporter that the four representatives had given the president political ammunition through their outspoken criticism of his policies, Omar and Ocasio-Cortez said that their impassioned opposition to Trump’s race-baiting rhetoric and policies was nothing more than their patriotic duty.