Trump says he prefers rally crowd not chant 'send them back'

Trump says he prefers rally crowd not chant 'send them back'
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates MORE said he does not know if his supporters will chant “send them back” about four minority lawmakers at a Thursday night rally, but said he prefers they do not.

“I prefer that they don't,” Trump told reporters at the White House before departing for the rally in Cincinnati.

The president initially repudiated the chants after a rally crowd chanted last month in North Carolina, but later backed away from his condemnation. He was noncommittal about whether he would try to quiet the crowd if they made the chant.

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“If they do the chant, we'll see what happens,” the president said. “I don’t know that you can stop people … If they do it, we’ll have to make a decision then.”  

Trump added the rally venue is a “very large one,” suggesting he may not hear the chant if it breaks out. The rally is taking place at the 17,500-seat U.S. Bank Arena.

The previous chant erupted when the president targeted Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarPoll: Biden and Sanders tied nationally, followed by Warren More than 100 Democrats sign letter calling for Stephen Miller to resign Booker responds to Onion article mocking Buttigieg over stock photo MORE (D-Minn.) at his rally last month.

The congresswoman was among four minority freshman lawmakers attacked by Trump on Twitter, along with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezPoll: Biden and Sanders tied nationally, followed by Warren More than 100 Democrats sign letter calling for Stephen Miller to resign Steyer, Biden clash over climate credentials MORE (N.Y.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyWarren speech in Georgia interrupted by pro-charter school protesters Poll: Biden and Sanders tied nationally, followed by Warren Ayanna Pressley introduces extensive criminal justice reform resolution MORE (Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibPoll: Biden and Sanders tied nationally, followed by Warren More than 100 Democrats sign letter calling for Stephen Miller to resign Hillicon Valley: Progressives oppose funding bill over surveillance authority | Senators call for 5G security coordinator | Facebook gets questions over location tracking | Louisiana hit by ransomware attack MORE (Mich).

Trump called for the lawmakers to "go back" where they came from, despite all four being U.S. citizens and three of them being born in the country. The fourth, Omar, was born in Somalia and immigrated to the United States as a refugee.

Updated 4:29 p.m.