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Trump renews ‘racist’ comments about US congresswomen

US President steps up racist attack on progressive Democratic congresswomen, demanding apology

WASHINGTON President Donald Trump lashed out yesterday at progressive Democratic congresswomen he had attacked over the weekend in tweets dismissed as racist.

"When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologise 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," Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.

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

In his initial attack on Sunday, Mr Trump said the congresswomen, whom he did not name, came from corrupt, poorly managed countries to which they should return. Democratic presidential candidates and legislators branded the comments racist and xenophobic.

On Sunday, Mr Trump referred on Twitter to "Progressive Democrat Congresswomen" in remarks that appeared to be aimed at a group of young, outspoken, liberal women of colour, all first-time members of the House of Representatives.

These include Ms Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ms Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ms Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ms Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.

All but one of the four women were born in the US. Ms Omar fled war-torn Somalia as a child and came to the US as a refugee.

They "originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world", Mr Trump tweeted.

He accused the women of "viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run".

"Why don't they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done," Mr Trump wrote.

He did not identify the targets of his comments by name.

But in a tweet later in the day, he said they "hate Israel with a true and unbridled passion", indicating that he may have been referring to Ms Omar and Ms Tlaib, who have recently been embroiled in controversies related to the Jewish state.

The four women hit back at Mr Trump's earlier tweets.

"I am fighting corruption in OUR country. I do it every day when I hold your admin accountable as a US Congresswoman," Ms Tlaib tweeted.

"THIS is what racism looks like. WE are what democracy looks like," Ms Pressley wrote over a screenshot of Mr Trump's tweets, while Ms Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that Mr Trump is "angry because you can't conceive of an America that includes us".

"You are stoking white nationalism bc you are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda," Ms Omar wrote on Twitter, saying that as "Members of Congress, the only country we swear an oath to is the United States."

They were joined in their criticism of Mr Trump by Democratic presidential candidates as well as leaders from the party.

Senior Republican lawmakers were notably silent on Mr Trump's comments. - REUTERS, AFP

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