Conway: Progressive congresswomen represent 'dark underbelly in this country'

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 piled on in attacking progressive congresswomen who have been the subject of attacks from 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 in recent days, asserting that they represent a "dark underbelly" of the country.

Conway said on Fox News that she disagreed that Trump was helping to unify Democrats just as they had been in the middle of an intraparty feud with his slams against Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezJoseph Kennedy mulling primary challenge to Markey in Massachusetts The latest victims of the far-left's environmental zealotry: Long Islanders Ocasio-Cortez brushes off Trump tweet claiming she is 'fuming' over Tlaib, Omar attention MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTlaib suggests boycotting Maher show after he calls anti-Israel boycott movement 'bullsh-t purity test' The Memo: Trump pushes back amid signs of economic slowdown Tlaib's grandmother to Trump: 'May God ruin' you MORE (Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibTlaib suggests boycotting Maher show after he calls anti-Israel boycott movement 'bullsh-t purity test' The Memo: Trump pushes back amid signs of economic slowdown Tlaib's grandmother to Trump: 'May God ruin' you MORE (Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyJoseph Kennedy mulling primary challenge to Markey in Massachusetts Ocasio-Cortez brushes off Trump tweet claiming she is 'fuming' over Tlaib, Omar attention Trump finds consistent foil in 'Squad' MORE (Mass.).

"What the president is doing is, we are tired — sick and tired — of many people in this country," she said. "Forget these four. They represent a dark underbelly of people in this country of people who are not respecting our troops, are not giving them the resources and the respect that they deserve."

She slammed the first-term lawmakers for being the only four Democrats to vote against a border funding package that included humanitarian aid to address the influx of migrants.

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In a gaggle with reporters on the White House driveway, Conway accused the press of failing to adequately question the four Democrats after they delivered a press conference denouncing Trump a day earlier.

She told reporters that the congresswomen represent a "dark element," but did not respond to a question about whether that phrase carried racial undertones.

The president sparked an uproar on Sunday morning when he tweeted that 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.

Conway disputed that the comments and tweets were racist, suggesting that they were about criticizing the lawmakers' policy positions. She argued that attacks on "socialism" and "communism" have "nothing to do with gender," and said she's "had it with people denigrating the American flag."

"When you throw the word racism around long enough, people get desensitized and that's a shame," she said.

Trump did not mention socialism or communism in his original tweets. Instead, he wrote the progressive congresswomen should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came." All four women are American citizens, and three of the four were born in the U.S.

Jordan Fabian contributed.