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

Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassKing incites furor with abortion, rape and incest remarks Reuniting families is a critical step in diplomacy with North Korea Democrats warn of Trump trap MORE (D-Calif.) said on Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' 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-CortezPoll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas NJ college censures trustee over posts targeting 'the squad' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (D-N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibIsrael should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support Jewish Democrats decry Trump's 'loyalty' remarks Poll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas MORE (D-Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarJewish Democrats decry Trump's 'loyalty' remarks Poll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas Pelosi speaks with Israeli president after Trump controversy 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 ErnstErnst town hall in Iowa gets contentious over guns Air Force probe finds no corroboration of sexual assault allegations against Trump pick Gun control activists set to flex muscle in battle for Senate 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