House Dem chairman: 'Trump is a coward'

House Dem chairman: 'Trump is a coward'
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Eleven days into the Donald Trump presidency, Democrats' attacks on the new commander in chief have taken a sharp turn toward the personal.

Democratic leaders had approached the transition opposing most of Trump's agenda while remaining hopeful that he'd be a willing dealmaker on issues where the parties share common views.

Those hopes have quickly dimmed, however, particularly in the wake of Trump's recent executive order barring refugees and people traveling from a handful of Muslim-majority countries. Democrats have hammered the ban as unconstitutional, cruel and contradictory to a country founded by immigrants.

On Tuesday, they took those criticisms a step further, with the House Democratic chairman saying that the immigrants being blocked are far more courageous than Trump.

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"Immigrants are the best, the brightest and the bravest coming to our nation," Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) told reporters after a closed-door caucus meeting in the Capitol.

"They are brave; President TrumpDonald John TrumpSasse: Trump shouldn't dignify Putin with Helsinki summit Top LGBT group projects message onto Presidential Palace in Helsinki ahead of Trump-Putin summit Hillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' MORE is a coward," he added. "And anyone who doesn't stand up against this ban joins the ranks of cowards."

Crowley was attacking Republicans on Capitol Hill who are either supporting the ban or have remained silent after its implementation.

By Crowley's math, more than 80 Republicans have vocalized their support for the ban, while just 24 GOP lawmakers have criticized it.

"Quite frankly, that's not enough," Crowley said. "The vast majority of our Republican colleagues have stayed silent, they've [run] away. And that's shameful."

Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), vice chairwoman of the caucus, delivered a similar denunciation, saying Trump's string of executive actions — almost all of them opposed by Democrats — have likely eroded the prospects of bipartisan cooperation between the sides.

"I searched mightily to try to characterize what the first 10 days of his presidency have been like, and the only words that come to mind are 'dumpster fire,'" Sanchez said.

"We have learned a very valuable lesson over the last 10 days, even those of us who had hopes that we could find some common ground. … We're learning not to take him at his word," Sanchez said.

"We're watching his actions and thinking to ourselves [that] there's very little chance, I think at this point, that there is anything positive or productive that he is sincere about wanting to work with Democrats on," she added.

"We are very wary ... very unsettled. We are watching in horror."