Trump says he prefers rally crowd not chant ‘send them back’

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President Trump 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.{mosads}

“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 Omar (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-Cortez (N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (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.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ayanna Pressley Donald Trump Ilhan Omar Rashida Tlaib
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