President Donald Trump fired off a flurry of tweets as a press conference for four freshman House Democrats was underway at Capitol Hill on Monday afternoon.
"We will never be a Socialist or Communist Country," Trump said on Twitter. "IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY HERE, YOU CAN LEAVE! It is your choice, and your choice alone. This is about love for America."
Trump's tweets echoed the same rhetoric as the ones he made since Sunday, in which he suggested a squad of newly-elected progressive lawmakers Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."
Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, and Tlaib were born in the US. Omar is originally from Somalia; she fled the civil war and sought asylum in the US in 1995.
"Certain people HATE our Country, they are anti-Israel, pro Al-Qaeda, and comment on the 9/11 attack, 'some people did something,'" Trump added.
Trump's tweets have spurred condemnation from lawmakers in both parties, some of whom described it as racist.
"I think those tweets are racist and xenophobic," Republican Rep. Will Hurd of Texas said to CNN on Monday. "They're also inaccurate ... Three of the four were born here. It's also behavior that's unbecoming of the leader of the free world. He should be talking about things that unite. Not divide us."
The four freshman lawmakers held a press conference on Monday as Trump doubled down on his remarks and alleged they were the ones to have proliferated "racist and hatred" sentiment.
In the press conference, Pressley described Trump's recent attacks against them as a "distraction."
"We are more than four people," Pressley said. "We ran on a mandate to advocate for and to represent those ignored, left out, and left behind."
"Our squad is big," she added, in an apparent reference to their nickname. "Our squad includes any person committed to creating a more equitable and just world."
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