As it happenedended1563231915

Trump news: AOC, Ilhan Omar, Pressley and Tlaib slam 'hateful actions' of 'racist, xenophobic' president

The latest updates from Washington as they happened

Trump lashes out at Ilhan Omar and AOC: 'I don't even know where they came from'

Donald Trump began the week embroiled in a racism row after attempting to exploit divisions among the opposition by telling young progressive congresswomen like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”, demanding an apology from the victims in his latest round of tweets.

Despite boasting of a 94 per cent approval rating among Republicans, the president found himself lagging behind Democratic 2020 challengers Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in a new poll conducted for NBC News/Wall Street Journal.

As Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents began mass deportations raids on at least 10 American cities, Mr Trump also hit out at media coverage of vice president Mike Pence's visit to a border detention centre in McAllen, Texas, on Friday, insisting the facility in question was “well run and clean” despite evidence to the contrary.

During a press conference, Ms Ocasio-Cortez, Ms Omar, and their colleagues Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib all denounced the president's attacks on them, which he doubled down on Monday afternoon at the White House.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez, finishing up her remarks, called the president "weak", and said he focuses on personal attacks because he cannot debate issues.

"Weak minds and leaders challenge loyalty to our country in order to avoid challenging and debating the policy," Ms Ocasio-Cortez said.

"This president does not know how to defend his policies, so what he does is he attacks us personally, and that is what it is all about. He cant look a child in the face and he can't look Americans in the face and justify why this country is throwing them into cages," she continued.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives announced it would hold a vote to condemn Mr Trump's "xenophobic" remarks.

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Hello and welcome to The Independent's rolling coverage of the Donald Trump administration.

Joe Sommerlad15 July 2019 08:40
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Despite boasting of a 94 per cent approval rating among Republicans, Donald Trump finds himself behind Democratic 2020 challengers Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in a new poll conducted for NBC News/Wall Street Journal.

Biden scores 51 per cent in the latest survey of American voting intentions, with Trump on 42 per cent.

A match-up between Vermont senator Sanders and the president finds Bernie on 50 per cent and Trump on 43 per cent.

Massachusetts senator Warren, whose stock has soared since she excelled in the first Democratic Party debate in Miami last month, is projected to beat Trump by 48 per cent to 43 per cent.

California senator Kamala Harris, who also enjoyed a major boost from the debates, would also beat Trump, albeit by a much tighter margin, poling 45 per cent to 44 per cent.

Joe Sommerlad15 July 2019 08:47
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The president begins the week embroiled in a racism row after attempting to exploit divisions among the opposition by telling young progressive congresswomen like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”. 

The president was attempting to capitalise on a feud rumbling on last week between House speaker Nancy Pelosi and a quartet she dubbed "The Squad" - consisting of AOC, Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley - whom Pelosi called out in an interview over their outspoken use of social media.

AOC had hit back at Pelosi in a Washington Post interview, observing that the speaker had singled out four women of colour for criticism - a line of attack the president picked up on and magnified.

Which was not only appalling but outstandingly hypocritical given that his own wife, Melania Trump, was born in Slovenia and his own grandfather, Friedrich Drumpf, was a migrant from Germany. Of the four congresswomen the president targeted, only Omar was actually born outside of the United States.

When Trump's tweets were met with howls of condemnation - with many calling out his long history of racist rhetoric against Mexicans and Muslims and support for white nationalists at Charlottesville - he elected to double down rather than apologise, alluding to Omar's attack on the influence of Israeli lobbyists in Washington to imply the party is anti-Israel, an inflammatory line he has repeated loudly in the past.

Here's more from Jane Dalton and Gemma Fox.

Joe Sommerlad15 July 2019 09:00
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With #TrumpIsARacist and #RacistInChief trending on Twitter on Sunday night, here's how "The Squad" reacted to the president's appalling tweets.

Joe Sommerlad15 July 2019 09:15
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This was Nancy Pelosi's response to the tweets...

...Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke and Kamala Harris were equally forthright...

...But Democratic congressman Ted Lieu perhaps has the pithiest response of all.

The Republicans, for their part, have been mysteriously quiet.

Here's Adam Forrest on their collective failure to call out Trump.

Joe Sommerlad15 July 2019 09:30
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The reaction on Fox to all of this has been interesting.

Fox and Friends attempted to laugh it off as a joke, saying "someone's in a very comedic mood today", before reminding AOC, Omar, Tlaib and Pressley, with breathtaking audacity: "This is real life, this isn't social media - just having fun and trying to rile people up - this is real life, the words you say have real life consequences."

But Fox pundit Geraldo Rivera has been one of the few conservative voices to take the president to task thus far.

Joe Sommerlad15 July 2019 09:45
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Also on social media, Trump hit out at press coverage of vice president Mike Pence's visit to a border detention centre in McAllen, Texas, on Friday, insisting the facility in question was “well run and clean”.

Pence himself had joined in with a rare attack on the "fake news media" by calling out CNN's coverage of his trip.

Footage like this though argues otherwise and critics have been quick to question Pence's Christian compassion when confronted by such scenes.

Here's Dave Maclean's report on Pence's encounter with the caged detainees.

Joe Sommerlad15 July 2019 10:00
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Outrage at the administration's treatment of migrants continued over the weekend as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents began mass deportations raids on nine cities.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said the agents had entered parts of Brooklyn and Harlem on Saturday, as reports of frightened families stockpiling food and hiding indoors emerged.

In Los Angeles, the city's churches have offered themselves as sanctuaries for migrant families while in Chicago a 65-strong "bike patrol" comprised of aldermen and activists are out in force to oversee the situation and ensure people confronted by ICE know their rights and have access to an attorney. 

Joe Sommerlad15 July 2019 10:15
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Emma Snaith has this on Trump's response to the fury his latest Twitter bomb has provoked.

Joe Sommerlad15 July 2019 10:30
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This is interesting.

Here are all the euphemisms the press have deployed in their efforts to avoid calling the president of the United States racist, dancing around the issue in their coverage by labelling his tweets everything from "anti-immigration rhetoric" to "racially-charged" rather than use the R word.

Tim Wyatt has more.

Joe Sommerlad15 July 2019 10:45

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