Black Caucus leader calls Trump's attacks on minority lawmakers 'despicable'

Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassThe US treats asylum seekers so poorly Lawmakers visit African migrants at US-Mexico border Preventative measures are needed in child welfare policy, data shows MORE (D-Calif.) said on Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments MORE's attacks on four minority female House members were "disgusting" and "despicable."

Bass, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, said she "thought it was terrible they even had to do that," after Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez on food assistance cuts: 'If this happened then, we might've just starved' Youth climate activists grade top 2020 Democrats on Green New Deal commitment Sanders to join youth climate strikers in Iowa MORE (D-N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibHouse moves ahead on long-stalled resolution supporting two states for Israelis and Palestinians GOP leader says he had 'a hard time' believing Pelosi Al Green calls for including Trump's 'racism' in impeachment articles MORE (D-Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarAl Green calls for including Trump's 'racism' in impeachment articles Republicans disavow GOP candidate who said 'we should hang' Omar Hillicon Valley: Trump officials propose retaliatory tariffs over French digital tax | FBI classifies FaceApp as threat | Twitter revamps policies to comply with privacy laws | Zuckerberg defends political ads policy MORE (D-Minn.) called a press conference to denounce Trump's remarks.

“When will this president stop?” asked Bass.

“Just when we think he’s hit bottom, he finds ten feet lower to go,” she said. "His racist, bigoted, stereotyped assault on the four women … it was just so disgusting and despicable." 

Bass added that what made her sadder was that Republicans “could not even call that racism.”

But the California lawmaker said what she is most concerned about is the safety of the congresswomen.

“I know them, I know that they deal with death threats to their person and their family on a daily basis and for a president of any country — least of all our country — that would foment that type of hate, that we absolutely know can lead to death,” she said.

Trump doubled down on his statements on Monday, repeating his assertion that those who criticize the U.S. should leave and argued that his attacks would harm the Democratic Party.

He also dismissed accusations that he used racist and bigoted rhetoric toward the four progressive congresswomen.

“Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

Trump’s attacks have united Democrats following a week of internal clashes.

House Democrats are expected to vote on Tuesday on a resolution explicitly condemning Trump's tweets as racist.

Though most Republicans remained virtually silent over the weekend, increasing numbers GOP lawmakers have spoken out against Trump’s comments – though most stopped short of calling them racist.

A member of the Senate GOP leadership, Senate Republican Conference Vice Chairwoman Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstGiffords, Demand Justice to pressure GOP senators to reject Trump judicial pick Democratic challenger to Joni Ernst releases ad depicting her as firing gun at him Republicans raise concerns over Trump pardoning service members MORE (R-Iowa), said Monday that she thought Trump’s tweets were racist.

“Uh, yeah. They’re American citizens,” she said, referring to Trump’s suggestion that the women go back to the counties they came from. Of that group, only Omar, a native of Somalia, was born outside the U.S.

—Tess Bonn