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

Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassDemocrats zero in on Ukraine call as impeachment support grows CBC marks 400th anniversary of slaves' arrival in US Senate could protect girls from sexual exploitation — but will it? MORE (D-Calif.) said on Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness school deans call for lifting country-specific visa caps Bolton told ex-Trump aide to call White House lawyers about Ukraine pressure campaign: report Federal prosecutors in New York examining Giuliani business dealings with Ukraine: report 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-CortezObamas' first Netflix project nominated for Critics' Choice Documentary Awards Sanders wishes Ocasio-Cortez happy birthday Democrat launches primary challenge to Ocasio-Cortez MORE (D-N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibTrump labels Tlaib 'a despicable human being' Tlaib says Democrats have discussed detaining White House officials who don't testify The 13 House Democrats who back Kavanaugh's impeachment MORE (D-Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarIlhan Omar raises .1 million in third quarter New California law bans school lunch debt shaming The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies Trump pushed for her ouster 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 Ernst10 top Republicans who continue to deny the undeniable GOP braces for impeachment brawl Republicans wrestle with impeachment strategy 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