Hours after demanding that House Republicans stand behind him and his racist tweets attacking U.S.-born congresswomen of color, President Donald Trump applauded the GOP lawmakers Tuesday night for nearly unanimously voting not to condemn him.
After a chaotic floor debate in which Republicans tried to censor House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for describing the president’s tweets as racist, the House of Representatives voted 240-187 on Tuesday night in favor of a resolution condemning Trump’s comments. Just four House Republicans joined 235 Democrats and one Independent in backing the non-binding statement of disapproval.
Trump drew national criticism for his attacks on Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on Twitter, claiming over the weekend that they had “originally come from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world,” and telling them to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
This common racist trope ignored the fact that all but Omar were actually born in the United States — the Minnesota congresswoman immigrated to the United States from Somalia as a child.
House Democrats filed a resolution to condemn his racist remarks on Tuesday, prompting Trump to order his party to defend him. “Republicans should not show ‘weakness’ and fall into their trap,” he decreed.
Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body! The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game. Republicans should not show “weakness” and fall into their trap. This should be a vote on the filthy language, statements and lies told by the Democrat…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2019
After they nearly unanimously obeyed, Trump announced that he was pleased. “So great to see how unified the Republican Party was on today’s vote concerning statements I made about four Democrat [sic] Congresswomen,” he tweeted late on Tuesday.
So great to see how unified the Republican Party was on today’s vote concerning statements I made about four Democrat Congresswomen. If you really want to see statements, look at the horrible things they said about our Country, Israel, and much more. They are now the top, most…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2019
“If you really want to see statements, look at the horrible things they said about our Country, Israel, and much more,” he added.
Reps. Susan Brooks (R-IN), Will Hurd (R-TX), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Fred Upton (R-MI) were the only four House Republicans to buck the president on this vote. Brooks announced her retirement last month.
Trump has spent much of the past few days doubling down on his attacks on the four lawmakers. Among other things, he has accused them of anti-Semitism, hating the United States, and supporting Al Qaeda, a false claim for which he has offered zero proof.
Only a handful of Republican lawmakers have offered (mostly tepid) criticisms of the president’s remarks so far. The vast majority, both in the House and Senate, have remained silent on the matter, while some have jumped to Trump’s defense, accusing the congresswomen of being racist themselves for calling out racism.