Trump doubles down on criticism of Omar, Tlaib

Trump doubles down on criticism of Omar, Tlaib
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE on Thursday doubled down on his decision to pressure the Israeli government to bar two U.S. Muslim congresswomen from visiting the country, labeling them “anti-Israel."

“I’m only involved from the standpoint of they are very anti-Jewish and they’re very anti-Israel," Trump said of Reps. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarKrystal Ball: Billionaires panicking over Sanders candidacy Omar renews claim Stephen Miller is a 'white nationalist' amid calls for him to step down Sanders 'very concerned about what appears to be a coup' in Bolivia MORE (D-Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibKrystal Ball: Billionaires panicking over Sanders candidacy Sanders: Fighting anti-Semitism 'is very personal' Bloomberg run should push Warren to the center — but won't MORE (D-Mich.).

"I think it’s very disgraceful, the things they’ve said,” Trump continued while speaking to reporters before departing for a campaign rally in Manchester, N.H., on Thursday evening.

“They’ve become the face of the Democrat Party.”


Trump also suggested he would be attacked if he were to say things that Omar and Tlaib have said in the past.

Omar and Tlaib, who became the first Muslim women elected to Congress last year, have been the focus of GOP ire over past comments about Israel.

“What they have said is disgraceful,” Trump said. “If other people had made that statement, there would have been hell to pay.”

His remarks came hours after Israel announced it would bar Omar and Tlaib from entering the country under a law that prohibits entry of individuals who support boycotts on Israel.

Trump had publicly pressed Israel on Twitter to do so shortly before the announcement, arguing it would show "great weakness" for Israel to allow the two lawmakers into the country.

The congresswomen, who had planned a trip to Israel for later this month, have supported Palestinian rights and backed the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel.

While both have at points been accused by other lawmakers of using anti-Semitic language, members from both parties said they should be allowed to visit Israel and criticized the decision to block them from entering the country on Thursday.

Critics have argued the decision could damage U.S.-Israel relations and have accused Israel of playing into a political talking point of the president, who has been vehemently critical of Omar and Tlaib.

Trump told the congresswomen to "go back" to their countries earlier this year, despite both of them being U.S. citizens.

Trump said Thursday it was ultimately up to Israel whether to grant the lawmakers entry, and would not comment on who he spoke to from the Israeli government about the issue.

“If they want to let them in they can, but I don’t know why they would want to do it,” Trump said. “I don’t want to comment about who I spoke to."