A US journalist asked Donald Trump how he’d feel if Slovenian-born First Lady, Melania Trump, was told to ‘go back to her country’ after he was widely criticised for a series of racist tweets targeted at four congresswomen of colour.
The president suggested the female politicians ‘go back’ to the ‘crime-infested places from which they came’ despite the fact all four are US citizens.
CBS White House Correspondent Weija Jiang tweeted that POTUS ‘did not answer’ her question during the recent press conference on (July 18).
I asked Trump if he would be okay with someone telling the First Lady to go back to her country. He did not answer.
— Weijia Jiang (@weijia) July 18, 2019
It’s clear Jiang drew a comparison between Melania Trump and the four congresswomen targeted in Trump’s tweets, as the First Lady has been a US citizen for a ‘shorter time’.
Three of the democrat representatives – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley – were born and raised in the US, while Somali-born, US citizen Omar Ilhan moved to the country as a child.
Melania Trump was born in Slovenia and became a US citizen in 2006, a year after she married the man who’d become US president, reports The Independent. The First Lady has been a US citizen less time than Ilhan, who became a US citizen at the age of 17 in 2000.
Update from when Trump left the White House this afternoon. He didn’t ignore the question this time, but he didn’t answer it either: pic.twitter.com/WHwI7hHeYJ
— Weijia Jiang (@weijia) July 19, 2019
Melania has remained silent about her husband’s controversial comments.
Stephanie Grisham, the First Lady’s spokeswoman, tweeted:
So typical to watch the mainstream media and Dems attack @realDonaldTrump for speaking directly to the American people.
His message is simple: the USA is the greatest nation on Earth, but if people aren’t happy here they don’t have to stay.
Despite her silence, Melania is said to be part of the President’s close, personal counsel urging the president to back down, after a campaign rally in North Carolina saw 8,000 people chant “send her back!” after Trump attacked Omar in his speech.
During the press conference on Thursday (July 18), Trump initially said he was ‘unhappy’ with the chants, before later saying “these are people that love our country”.
According to Sky News, he said:
I felt a little bit badly about it. I would say that I was not happy with it. I disagreed with it. But again, I didn’t say that. They did. And I disagreed with it.
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L’Oréal Blackett is a freelance journalist, broadcaster, and presenter with a lot of hair and a lot to say. A former digital magazine editor covering women’s issues and local news, she now works for a range of media publications including BBC Radio Manchester, Bumble and of course, UNILAD.