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 TrumpOklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem despite threat from GOP state lawmaker Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled 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 OmarTrump holds mini-rally at Florida airport Tlaib opens up about why she hasn't endorsed Biden yet The Hill's Campaign Report: Campaigns prepare for homestretch run to Election Day 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-Cortez,200 may be enough in Mitch McConnell's hometown of Louisville, but not in most US cities Democrats go big on diversity with new House recruits Progressives lost the battle for the Democratic Party's soul MORE (N.Y.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyStimulus checks debate now focuses on size, eligibility Tlaib opens up about why she hasn't endorsed Biden yet Is Ilhan Omar one and done? Why she could lose the August primary MORE (Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibTrump holds mini-rally at Florida airport Tlaib opens up about why she hasn't endorsed Biden yet On The Money: Congress set for brawl as unemployment cliff looms | Wave of evictions could be coming for nation's renters | House approves 9.5B spending package 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.