George Conway calls Trump a 'racist president' in new op-ed

George ConwayGeorge Thomas ConwayGeorge Conway tweets cartoon of Trump whispering 'it's an invasion' in gun-toting man's ear George Conway opposes #unfollowTrump movement Federal guidance identifying 'go back to where you came from' as discrimination goes viral after Trump comments MORE, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayTrump health chief: Officials actively 'working on' ObamaCare replacement plan Campaign aide: Trump asking questions shared by 'millions of Americans' with Epstein conspiracy theory Former acting solicitor general: 'Literally unfathomable' that Trump would retweet conspiracy theory about Epstein death MORE, on Monday derided President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE as a "racist president," saying that his latest attacks against a group of minority congresswomen left no doubt that he is a bigot. 

Conway, drawing on his personal experience with racism in America leveled the charge against Trump in an op-ed for The Washington Post. The conservative lawyer, who has repeatedly criticized the president, opened the opinion piece by noting that he wasn't even a teenager when he first heard someone tell his mother, a native of the Philippines, to "go back to your country," language similar to that Trump used against the progressive female lawmakers over the weekend.

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"I remember the incident well, but it never bothered me all that much. Nor did racial slurs, which, thankfully, were rare. None of it was troublesome, to my mind, because most Americans weren’t like that," Conway wrote before noting how "naive a child could be."

Conway went on to note that those harboring racist sentiments never really went away in America, writing that they now appear at rallies and on Facebook and Twitter. He later added that even as an adult, he remained naive in the face of racism. 

"The birther imaginings about Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaDick Cheney to attend fundraiser supporting Trump reelection: report Forget conventional wisdom — Bernie Sanders is electable 2020 Democrats fight to claim Obama's mantle on health care MORE? Just a silly conspiracy theory, latched onto by an attention seeker who has a peculiar penchant for them," he wrote, referring to Trump's involvement in the conspiracy theory that former President Obama was born outside the U.S. "The white supremacists’ march in Charlottesville? The president’s comments were absolutely idiotic, but he couldn’t possibly have been referring to those self-described Nazis as 'good people.'"

Conway added that "no matter how much I found [Trump] ultimately unfit, I still gave him the benefit of the doubt about being a racist."

"But Sunday left no doubt. Naiveté, resentment and outright racism, roiled in a toxic mix, have given us a racist president," he argued. 

The statements from Conway came a day after Trump sparked an uproar by telling four female lawmakers of color to "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came" before speaking out about how the United States government should be run. 

Trump also claimed that the progressive Democrats "came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe." 

He did not identify the lawmakers in his tweet. But the comments came amid a week of escalating tension between Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and four freshman House Democrats — Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.). All four are U.S. citizens, and all but Omar were born in the U.S.

Multiple Republican and a slew of Democratic lawmakers denounced Trump's comments as racist. But Conway argued that the "virtual silence from Republican leaders and officeholders" is just as bad as Trump's comments. 

"What’s at stake now is more important than judges or tax cuts or regulations or any policy issue of the day," he concluded. "What’s at stake are the nation’s ideals, its very soul."