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

Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassFive House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet Pressure grows on California governor to name Harris replacement Why it's time for a majority female Cabinet MORE (D-Calif.) said on Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit 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-CortezBiden names John Kerry as 'climate czar' in new administration Maloney vows to overhaul a House Democratic campaign machine 'stuck in the past' Ocasio-Cortez defends Harry Styles wearing dress on Vogue cover: 'It looks wonderful' MORE (D-N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks GOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency | House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally | Trump administration pushes for rollback of Arctic offshore drilling regulations MORE (D-Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarGOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency | House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally | Trump administration pushes for rollback of Arctic offshore drilling regulations House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally 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 ErnstThe Memo: Trump plows ahead with efforts to overturn election More conservatives break with Trump over election claims Peggy Noonan: 'Bogus dispute' by Trump 'doing real damage' 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