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25 Aug 2019, 20:51 HRS IST
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  • US House votes to condemn Trump over his 'racist' tweet against four Congresswomen

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10:40 HRS IST

By Lalit K Jha



Washington, Jul 17 (PTI)
The US House of Representatives has voted a resolution to condemn President Donald Trump's alleged "racist" tweets against four Democartic congresswomen who have been critical of his harsh immigration policies.

Trump, on Sunday, in a series of tweets, said that four Democratic Progressive Congresswomen should just "go back" to where they came from.

The vote on Tuesday came days after Trump's tweets about four newly elected Democratic lawmakers - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan - sparked a widespread uproar.

Moved by Congressman Tom Malinowski, the resolution was passed by the House of Representatives, the Lower House of the US Congress, on a partisan line of 240-184 votes.

The resolution also got support of four Republicans and an independent in the House where Democratic lawmakers have a majority. Though the result carries no legal repercussions but it was an embarrassing one for Trump.

"It's not who we are. It is playing with fire because the words that the president used are heard by people with disturbed minds who do terrible things, violent things, and a line needs to be drawn," he told the House.

"So that's what we hope to do," Malinowski said.

Ahead of the vote, Trump accused his four outspoken critics of "spewing some of the most vile, hateful and disgusting things ever said by a politician". He, in a series of tweets, said "If you hate our Country, or if you are not happy here, you can leave!".

Congresswoman Grace Meng said that President Trump's comments are "racist" and his vile rants on Twitter are beyond the pale, and show his callous disregard for the office he holds.

"He has not apologised, shown any remorse, and doubled down on his disgusting remarks. As an American, I am appalled by the President's actions these past few days and the weak responses by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle.

"We can disagree with each other, but to tell someone to 'go back' is morally reprehensible. Today, our message is clear: Mr President, shame on you," she said.

Condemning the President for his "racist statements", Congressman Elijah Cummings said although Trump has indicated that there are "many people who agree with" his comments, there are many Americans, who are were disappointed that the individual who acts as their representative on the world stage would share these racist sentiments.

"I have confidence that the beliefs reflected in the president's statements are not held by the American people as a whole and do not reflect who we are as a nation," he said on the House Floor.

"He told four women of colour - three of whom are natural born citizens, born and raised in their home country of America - to 'go back' to their countries," House Majority leader Steny Hoyer said in his remarks on the floor of the House.

Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley and Tlaib were all born in the US, while Omar is a naturalised US citizen who arrived in the country at a young age as a Somali refugee.

"This is their country, Mr Speaker, I would tell the President. And it is the country of our colleague who came here as a refugee from Somalia. She endured hardships and arrived on our shores, like so many others, seeking freedom, safety, and opportunity. She is an American citizen, one who chose to give back to her community and our country through public service. This is her country," Hoyer said.

Congressman Tom Cole said that while it is certainly appropriate to be critical of what the president said about four fellow Americans and members of Congress, the political exercise pushed by House Democrats in response is a political double standard.

"For anyone who follows debate on the House floor each week, it is known that many Democrats regularly speak in an equally offensive manner toward the president. In fact, Democratic members are frequently admonished by the presiding speaker for violating House rules. This type of political rhetoric needs to stop," he said.

In urging four female Members of Congress of colour to "go back" where they came from, these comments were not only factually incorrect, but they were also deeply hurtful and divisive, alleged House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler.

"These were shocking comments, even from an Administration that rips children from the arms of their parents and warehouses asylum-seekers in facilities under inhumane conditions. We cannot let this moment pass without a forceful condemnation," he said.

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