Trump lashes out at as progressive Democrats blast him in press conference

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRouhani says Iran will never seek nuclear weapons Trump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions Trump says Bloomberg is 'wasting his money' on 2020 campaign MORE on Monday lashed out at Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezHillary Clinton responds to backlash: 'I will do whatever I can to support our nominee' Klobuchar dismisses White House lawyer's jab about Democrats wanting to be in Iowa The Hill's 12:30 Report: Rules fight sets stage for first day of Trump trial MORE (D-N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarJayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Jayapal endorses Sanders MORE (D-Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDemocrats press Trump administration to stop DNA collection from detained migrants Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Jayapal endorses Sanders MORE (D-Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyMassachusetts governor apologizes after calling Pressley speech a 'rant' Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Jayapal endorses Sanders MORE (D-Mass.) as the progressive Democrats held a press conference to denounce his recent incendiary comments.

The president tweeted before, during and immediately after the press conference, which was carried on cable news networks.


He repeated his assertion that those who criticize the U.S. should leave and suggested his attacks would ultimately harm the Democratic Party even as caucus members united to condemn the president's comments as racist.

"The Dems were trying to distance themselves from the four 'progressives,' but now they are forced to embrace them," Trump tweeted. "That means they are endorsing Socialism, hate of Israel and the USA! Not good for the Democrats!"

Trump later appeared to respond to the charges from the four lawmakers about shoddy conditions at border detention facilities by asserting that the "cages" they referred to were built during the Obama administration. 

The president sparked an uproar on Sunday morning when he tweeted that unnamed progressive congresswomen "who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe" should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."

Trump spent Monday doubling down on his attacks, insisting that those who are inclined to criticize the U.S. should leave.

"They can leave. And you know what? I’m sure that there will be many people that won’t miss them," he said. "They have to love our country. They’re congresspeople."

He targeted Omar in particular, suggesting she "hates Jews" because of her past comments about Israel and claimed without evidence that she's sympathetic to al Qaeda.

The four congresswomen, who refer to themselves as "the squad," denounced Trump's comments as a "distraction" during their press conference later Monday.

"We’ll stay focused on our agenda … because all of this is a distraction. It's a distraction from what’s important and from our core values as Americans," Ocasio-Cortez said.

Omar called it "complete hypocrisy" for Trump to condemn the lawmakers for criticizing the government, noting he campaigned in 2016 on airing grievances with past administrations.

She referred to his comments on a years-old "Access Hollywood" tape in which he bragged about groping women, when he referred to African nations as "shithole countries," and when he derided athletes who kneel during the national anthem as "sons of bitches."

Tlaib called Trump's remarks "a continuation of his racist and xenophobic playbook."