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

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says Putin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE on Monday lashed out at Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSimmering Democratic tensions show signs of boiling over Out-of-touch Democrats running scared of progressives Progressives rally behind Omar while accusing her critics of bias MORE (D-N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSimmering Democratic tensions show signs of boiling over Pelosi signals no further action against Omar The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Bipartisan group reaches infrastructure deal; many questions remain MORE (D-Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibProgressives rally behind Omar while accusing her critics of bias Omar: I wasn't equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries Omar feuds with Jewish Democrats MORE (D-Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyProgressives rally behind Omar while accusing her critics of bias House candidate in Chicago says gun violence prompted her to run Labor secretary faces questions from Democrats in police chief controversy 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."