‘Send her back!’, US crowd roars as Trump steps up ‘racist’ attack on 4 congresswomen

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Supporters of President Donald Trump applaud during a Keep America Great rally on July 17, 2019 in Greenville, North Carolina.(Zach Gibson/Getty Images/AFP)
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President Donald Trump speaks during a Keep America Great rally on July 17, 2019 in Greenville, North Carolina. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 18 July 2019

‘Send her back!’, US crowd roars as Trump steps up ‘racist’ attack on 4 congresswomen

  • Trump’s targets are Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan
  • He described the targets his hate campaign as ‘hate-filled extremists who are constantly trying to tear our country down’

GREENVILLE, North Carolina: Going after four Democratic congresswomen one by one, a combative President Donald Trump turned his campaign rally Wednesday into an extended dissection of the liberal views of the women of color, deriding them for what he painted as extreme positions and suggesting they just get out.
“Tonight I have a suggestion for the hate-filled extremists who are constantly trying to tear our country down,” Trump told the crowd in North Carolina, a swing state he won in 2016 and wants to claim again in 2020. “They never have anything good to say. That’s why I say, ‘Hey if you don’t like it, let ‘em leave, let ‘em leave.’“
Eager to rile up his base with the some of the same kind of rhetoric he targeted at minorities and women in 2016, Trump declared, “I think in some cases they hate our country.”
Trump’s jabs were aimed at the self-described “squad” of four freshmen Democrats who have garnered attention since their arrival in January for their outspoken liberal views and distaste for Trump: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. All were born in the US except for Omar, who came to the US as a child after fleeing Somalia with her family.
Taking the legislators on one at a time, Trump ticked through a laundry list of what he deemed offensive comments by each woman, mangling and misconstruing many facts along the way.
Omar came under the harshest criticism as Trump played to voters’ grievances, drawing a chant from the crowd of “Send her back! Send her back!“
Trump set off a firestorm Sunday when he tweeted that the four should “go back” to their home countries — though three were born in the United States. Trump has accused them of “spewing some of the most vile, hateful and disgusting things ever said by a politician.”
Before he left Washington, Trump said he has no regrets about his ongoing spat with the four. Trump told reporters he thinks he’s “winning the political argument” and “winning it by a lot.”
“If people want to leave our country, they can. If they don’t want to love our country, if they don’t want to fight for our country, they can,” Trump said. “I’ll never change on that.”
Trump’s harsh denunciations were another sign of his willingness to exploit the nation’s racial divisions heading into the 2020 campaign.
His speech was filled with Trump’s trademark criticisms about the news media, which he says sides with liberals, and of special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Mueller had been scheduled to testify Wednesday on Capitol Hill, but it was postponed. Trump brought him up anyway. “What happened to me with this witch hunt should never be allowed to happen to another president,” he said.
He also talked about illegal immigration, a main theme of his first presidential bid that is taking center stage in his re-election campaign. He brushed off the criticism he has gotten for saying that the congresswomen should go back home. “So controversial,” he said sarcastically.
The four freshmen have portrayed the president as a bully who wants to “vilify” not only immigrants, but all people of color. They say they are fighting for their priorities to lower health care costs and pass a Green New Deal addressing climate change, while his thundering attacks are a distraction and tear at the core of America values.
The Democratic-led US House voted Tuesday to condemn Trump for what it labeled “racist comments,” despite near-solid GOP opposition and the president’s own insistence that he doesn’t have a “racist bone” in his body.
Trump hasn’t shown signs of being rattled by the House rebuke, and called an impeachment resolution that failed in Congress earlier Wednesday “ridiculous.” The condemnation carries no legal repercussions and his latest harangues struck a chord with supporter in Greenville, whose chants of “Four more years!” and “Build that wall!” bounced off the rafters.
Vice President Mike Pence was first up after spending the day in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and visiting troops at Fort Bragg. “North Carolina and America needs four more years,” Pence said.
It was Trump’s sixth visit to the state as president and his first 2020 campaign event in North Carolina, where he defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Before Trump arrived, Wayne Goodwin, chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party, spoke at a rally in Greenville and called Trump “just another corrupt snake oil salesman.”
“From sparking a harmful trade war that puts our farmers in the crosshairs, to giving corporations a billion-dollar giveaway at the expense of our middle class, to repeatedly pushing to end protections for pre-existing conditions and raise health care costs, his broken promises have hurt hard-working families across North Carolina,” Goodwin said.


Indian PM steps up war of words with Beijing

Updated 23 min 21 sec ago

Indian PM steps up war of words with Beijing

  • The Indian leader’s bullish stance showed there was little hope of tensions easing along the frontier in coming months, foreign policy experts warned
  • India and China engaged in a tense military standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh

NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday the country had delivered a “fitting reply” over recent border clashes in the disputed Himalayan region of Ladakh.

The Indian leader’s bullish stance showed there was little hope of tensions easing along the frontier in coming months, foreign policy experts warned.

“The world has seen in Ladakh what our brave soldiers can do to save the sovereignty of the nation,” Modi said in his address to the nation, without naming China, as the country marked its 74th independence day.

Modi’s veiled comments come three months after clashes with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley left 20 Indian soldiers dead — the first military confrontation between the two countries in more than four decades. 

India and China engaged in a tense military standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. Despite extensive talks, there seems to be little sign of an easing of tensions in the area.

Modi’s speech was also riddled with veiled threats to arch-rival Pakistan. “From LoC (Line of Control with Pakistan) to LAC, anyone who has (threatened) the sovereignty of the country, the army has responded in the same language.”

Tensions began building up in the disputed region in May when Indian troops blamed China’s military for hindering patrols along the Ladakh and Sikkim border.

Beijing blamed its southern neighbor for building road infrastructure in the Fingers Region around the Pangong Tso Lake and the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh.

Amid the blame game, the two sides reinforced their troops, leading to a military buildup.

Referring to the incident as part of China’s expansionist policy, Modi warned that India would confront terrorism or expansionism with “full might.”

However, opposition Congress Party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala questioned why “our rulers are scared of mentioning China’s name.”

“Each and every Congress worker and all Indians are proud of our armed forces and have full faith in them,” he told reporters after Modi’s address. 

“We salute the armed forces for giving China an apt reply every time there has been an attack. But what about those who are sitting in power. Why are they scared of mentioning China’s name?”

Surjewala said the government must explain how it plans to safeguard the country's territorial integrity.

“Today, when China has occupied our territory, we must ask the government how it proposes to push the Chinese forces back and protect our territorial integrity. That is the true sense of democracy,” he said.

Foreign policy experts said that Modi's address was directed at domestic audiences. 

“The statement is meant for domestic consumption. It doesn’t change the fact that the disengagement and de-escalation process at the LAC is at a standstill,” Manoj  Kewalramani, of the Bangalore-based Takshashila Institution think tank, told Arab News.

There was “no evidence” of Chinese troops retreating from their positions, he said.

Lt. Gen. Deependra Singh Hooda, former chief of the Indian army’s northern command, said both sides were in a difficult position and their standoff “will have geopolitical implications for South Asia.”

“The standoff will affect India-China relations, particularly China and whether they want relations with India that are marked by tension.

“There is also talk of India looking at other geopolitical options such as QUAD (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, an informal strategic forum between the US, Japan, Australia and India),” Hooda told Arab News.

Millions tune in for Modi’s customary independence day speech, which usually dwells on the government’s domestic triumphs and foreign policy plans.

However, this year he also attempted to strengthen the bond among South Asian nations, saying that “if greater peace prevails in this region, it will help all humanity and the world.”

Modi added: “Leaders of the region have a great responsibility in the development of its huge population.

“In the last few years, India has strengthened its relationship with the extended neighborhood, particularly with the West Asian countries. Our economic relationship, particularly the partnership in the energy sector, is important.”