Donald Trump has said he ‘felt badly’ about ‘send her back’ chants directed at Ilhan Omar during his campaign rally in North Carolina.
Trump said he disagreed with the attack on Somali-born US citizen Omar, though the chants came just days after he himself told the Democratic Representative, along with three other Congresswomen, to ‘go back to the countries they came from’.
During the rally on Wednesday night (July 17), the POTUS dedicated 20 minutes of a lengthy speech to further criticising the group and targeting Omar. His comments led to the 8,000 attendees chanting ‘send her back!’.
Though the president didn’t stop his supporters, he told reporters in the Oval Office today he wasn’t happy about the comments.
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.
When asked why he didn’t put a stop to the chanting, he responded:
I think I did. I started speaking very quickly.
In reality, the president stayed quiet for 12 seconds while his supporters repeatedly shouted ‘send her back’.
In an interview with Fox News, White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley claimed the president ‘didn’t let it go on very long.’
He was very stoic and kept driving his message home. He didn’t let the crowd slow him down all that long, except to hear what they were chanting.
The president made further negative comments about the four Congresswomen he had initially targeted in a second appearance at the White House today.
There’s such hatred. They have such hatred, a foursome of liberal first-term congresswomen.
I’ve seen statements that they’ve made with such hatred toward our country. And I don’t think that’s a good thing. They should embrace our country.
….and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. 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….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
Omar made her thoughts about Trump clear following the rally, telling reporters:
We have said this president is a racist. We have condemned his racist remarks. I believe he is fascist.
The Congresswoman has received support from across the world, with the hashtag ‘#IStandWithIlhan’ trending on Twitter.
It was true then, it's true now. She is an American hero, slandered and attacked by a disgustingly racist President and his racist supporters.
— Sen. Mike Gravel (@MikeGravel) July 18, 2019
I don't feel like there's an apology big enough that I can make to @IlhanMN after seeing that crowd chant #SendHerBack like that. It shook me to my core, and I can't imagine how she feels. I've never felt this scared.
I'm in awe over her strength. #IStandWithIlhan
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) July 18, 2019
The House of Representatives voted to condemn the president’s initial tweets targeting the group of four women.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.