Trump Tells Congresswomen To 'Go Back' To Where They Came From

President Trump said on Twitter Sunday that "'Progressive' Democratic Congresswomen" should "go back" to their countries -- even though three of the four lawmakers he was seemingly referring were born in the U.S.

His tweets drew disgust from House Democrats, who called them racist and xenophobic.

"So interesting to see 'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly ... and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run," he tweeted on Sunday morning local time.

"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," the president wrote.

"These places need your help badly, you can't leave fast enough. I'm sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!"

The president was almost certainly referring to a quartet of newly elected non-white Democratic congresswomen who have been outspoken critics of the president and his administration.

Three of those lawmakers -- New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley -- were born and raised in the U.S.

The fourth, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, came to the U.S. from Somalia when she was 10 and became a citizen when she was 17.

All four women, who have come to be known as "the Squad," broke ethnic and gender barriers when they were elected last year. Omar and Tlaib are the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress. Pressley is the first black congresswoman to represent Massachusetts. Ocasio-Cortez, at 29, became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Getty Images.

The president's tweets come amid a dispute between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the progressive lawmakers, who have grown impatient with Democratic leadership. The back and forth has spilled out into public view over the past two weeks, after Pelosi seemed to minimise the influence of the new members. Ocasio-Cortez then accused Pelosi of "singling out newly elected women of colour."'

On Sunday, Tlaib was the first to respond to the president's tweets, writing: "Want a response to a lawless & complete failure of a President? He is the crisis. His dangerous ideology is the crisis. He needs to be impeached."

Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter reminded Trump that she's from the U.S.

"You are angry because you don't believe in an America where I represent New York 14, where the good people of Minnesota elected @IlhanMN, where @RashidaTlaib fights for Michigan families, where @AyannaPressley champions little girls in Boston," she said.

"You are angry because you can't conceive of an America that includes us. You rely on a frightened America for your plunder."

Donald Trump
Trump tweets have been deemed offensive. Photo: Getty Images.

Despite her differences with the group, Pelosi rushed to defend them from Trump's tweets.

"When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to "Make America Great Again" has always been about making America white again," Pelosi wrote on Twitter.

"I reject @realDonaldTrump's xenophobic comments meant to divide our nation. Rather than attack Members of Congress, he should work with us for humane immigration policy that reflects American values."

Nancy Pelosi

New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, the assistant House Speaker, tweeted, "A racist tweet from a racist president."