WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump responded to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying that Trump has a “plan” to “make America white again,” arguing that her charge is a “very racist statement.”
Pelosi used the phrase when voicing opposition to Trump’s support for a citizenship question on the 2020 Census form. She also wrote it on Twitter in reaction to Trump’s criticism of female freshman Democrat members of Congress.
“When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again. Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power,” Pelosi wrote.
Following his speech at the White House’s Made in America Product Showcase on Monday, Trump told reporters, “Well, that’s just a very racist statement, somebody that would say that. So, Speaker Pelosi said, ‘Make America white again.’ Let me tell you, that’s a very racist statement. I’m surprised she’d say that.”
Trump also defended his recent tweets about the freshman lawmakers, which he initially did not mention by name.
“If you’re not happy here, then you can leave. As far as I’m concerned, if you hate our country, if you’re not happy here, you can leave,” Trump said on Monday at the White House. “And that’s what I say all the time. That’s what I said in a tweet, which I guess some people think is controversial. A lot of people love it, by the way.”
Out of the group of four freshman congresswomen, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) was born outside of the U.S. Trump was asked who else he was referring to with his statements about leaving the U.S.
“Well, they’re very unhappy. I’m watching them; all they do is complain. So all I’m saying is, if they want to leave, they can leave,” Trump said. “But they have to love — they have to love our country. They’re congresspeople and I never used any names.”