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- Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff became the first White House official to speak publicly about President Donald Trump’s racist tweets about four progressive congresswomen of color.
- Marc Short defended Trump’s tweets, arguing that the president’s "intent" was not "in any way racist."
- Short said that Trump was only referring to Rep. Ilhan Omar who he falsely claimed hasn’t made any "positive" comments about the US since she was elected to Congress last year.
- While Trump’s attacks on the congresswomen were widely condemned by Democrats as racist, the vast majority of elected Republicans have yet criticized the president’s messages.
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Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff on Monday became the first White House official to speak publicly about President Donald Trump’s racist tweets telling four progressive congresswomen of color to "go back" to the "crime infested" countries they came from.
Marc Short defended Trump’s widely condemned attacks, arguing that the president’s "intent" was not racist.
"I don’t think that our President’s intent in any way is racist," Short told reporters at the White House on Monday morning.
Short argued the president was commenting solely on Omar, who Trump has repeatedly condemned in the past for making remarks many believed were anti-Semitic. But Trump referred to multiple unnamed "congresswomen" in his Sunday tweets, stating that "they" should leave the US and return to "help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."
"I’m making the case that this is not a universal statement that he’s making," Short said. "He’s making it about the very specific, pretty much an individual member of Congress that I think has said most things that she’s most unhappy about about the United States."
Trump appeared to be referring to four outspoken first-term congresswomen, Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ayanna Pressley — known as the "squad." Only Omar was born outside the United States.
Short also argued that Trump can’t have "racist motives" because Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, an Asian-American naturalized citizen, serves in his cabinet.
While Trump’s attacks on the congresswomen were widely condemned by Democrats as racist, the vast majority of elected Republicans have yet criticized the president’s messages.
One GOP congressman, Rep. Chip Roy of
- Trump doubled down in his attacks on 4 Democratic congresswomen of color, calling their actions ‘horrible’ and ‘disgusting’
- An increasingly public, racially-charged rift in the Democratic party is widening after attacks are lobbed between Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s camp and the Democratic establishment
- Trump’s assistant Madeleine Westerhout was reportedly crying and ‘inconsolable’ on election night 2016 — but now says she’d do almost anything for Trump