Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) said on Monday that it's "outrageous" to call President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE's tweets telling four Democratic congresswomen of color to "go back" to their countries racist. 
 
"That's outrageous. Of course they're not racist," Perdue, a close Trump ally who is up for reelection in 2020, said when a reporter noted that some used that term to describe the president's rhetoric.
 
Perdue's comments came after Trump sparked widespread backlash among Democrats as well as a growing number of Republicans when he targeted a group of unidentified progressive congresswomen "who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe."
 
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In the tweets, which appeared to be directed at Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez blasts Electoral College as a 'scam' Trump slams Tlaib after press conference on Israel ban: I don't buy her tears Scaramucci calls on GOP to save country from Trump 'depredations' MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarMaher hits back at Tlaib: Does she 'want to boycott 93 percent of her own party?' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' Trump ramps up attacks on Tlaib MORE (Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibMaher hits back at Tlaib: Does she 'want to boycott 93 percent of her own party?' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' Trump ramps up attacks on Tlaib MORE (Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna Pressley'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' Trump ramps up attacks on Tlaib Trump slams Tlaib after press conference on Israel ban: I don't buy her tears MORE (Mass.), the president said they should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."  
 
Trump doubled down on his comments Monday during an event at the White House, denying that he was being racist and expressing no remorse when told that white nationalist groups found common cause with his message.

“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House during an event designed to highlight American manufacturing.
 
 
Other Senate Republicans stopped short of calling Trump's remarks racist. 
 
Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsCollins downplays 2020 threat: 'Confident' re-election would go well if she runs Cook Political Report moves Susan Collins Senate race to 'toss up' The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE (R-Maine), who is up for reelection in 2020, urged Trump to delete his tweets. Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThe Hill's Morning Report - Progressives, centrists clash in lively Democratic debate Senate braces for brawl over Trump's spy chief Congress kicks bipartisan energy innovation into higher gear MORE (R-Alaska) called his comments "spiteful," and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads Cindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death Trump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week MORE (R-S.C.) urged him to avoid personal attacks. 
 
 
"Identify politics is a poison. It's toxic. ... The president shouldn't have written that. I think it damages him. It damages the country," he said. 
 
When a reporter noted that if another individual made comments similar to Trump's they would be viewed as racist, Rubio added, "Most certainly I think people could take it that way, be offended by it." 
 
 
"I …  actually, honestly, haven't read anything except what you all have reported. But the reality is that I want to shift back onto the issues," Tillis said. 
 
Pressed about whether he thought Trump's tweets were racist, Tillis added, "I literally don't go on Twitter."