Muslim congresswoman-elect Rashida Tlaib says she 'truly believes' Trump is a racist

Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBill Maher, Michael Moore spar over Democrats' strategy for 2020 Young insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight We must stand together against hatred MORE (D-Mich.) said Thursday that there’s no doubt in her mind that President TrumpDonald John TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy MORE is a racist, citing his rhetoric and policies.

“Look, I truly believe he is racist — and that’s probably controversial — he is,” Tlaib told Hill.TV’s Jamal Simmons during a “Rising” interview.

“It’s in his policies, it’s in his words, and the fact of the matter is that he’s still our president ... but it doesn’t matter, I’m going to hold him accountable,” she continued.

Tlaib is one of two Muslim women elected to serve in the next Congress, along with Rep.-elect Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSunday shows - Guns dominate after Democratic debate Omar responds to family of 9/11 victim who called her out at anniversary ceremony Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley dance to Lizzo's 'Truth Hurts' in video MORE (D-Minn.). She's also the first Palestinian-American elected to Congress.

Democrats have repeatedly criticized Trump for engaging in racially charged or racist rhetoric. 

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) criticized him for "dogwhistle racism" for critical remarks about three black reporters over the fall.

In November, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE criticized as "dog whistle politics" a Trump midterm advertisement, rejected by major networks, that showed images of a Mexican man who entered the U.S. illegally and was sentenced to death for the murder of two police officers. The ad blamed Democrats for the Mexican citizen being in the United States. 

Trump has also come under criticism for remarks deemed racially insensitive about NBA superstar Lebron James, and for his equivocal comments casting blame on Nazis and those protesting them during 2017 demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va., that turned violent. 

Tlaib said that she has no idea what's driving Trump’s rhetoric, saying lawmakers and the public alike are often baffled by his constant tweets on social media.

“There’s so much, even when I watch national media outlets, it’s baffling because we’re all guessing like what is in his mind, what do you think that tweet was about,” she told Hill.TV.

— Tess Bonn