Warren responds to Trump retreat on census citizenship question: 'Wow, he's going to follow the law?'

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' On The Money: Stocks close with steep losses driven by coronavirus fears | Tax season could bring more refund confusion | Trump's new wins for farmers may not undo trade damage Overnight Energy: Sanders scores highest on green group's voter guide | Trump's latest wins for farmers may not undo trade damage | Amazon employees defy company to speak on climate change MORE (D-Mass.) took aim at President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' Bolton told Barr he was concerned Trump did favors for autocrats: report Dershowitz: Bolton allegations would not constitute impeachable offense MORE on Thursday after he announced that he was dropping his administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, accusing him of trying to incite hatred and inflame racial tensions by initially seeking to compile citizenship data on millions of Americans.

Warren's remarks at a presidential town hall hosted by the League of United Latin American Citizens came hours after Trump reversed course, backtracking on previous efforts this week to push forward with including the question after the Supreme Court blocked the move. 

Asked about her reaction to Trump's decision on Thursday, Warren initially feigned amazement.

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"Wow, he’s going to follow the law?" Warren quipped. 

"This is not about trying to find out real information about citizenship and non-citizenship in America," she continued. "This is just about trying to stir up more hate. To try to get some more people excited."

Trump said Thursday that he would instead issue an executive order requiring federal agencies to provide the Commerce Department information on citizens and noncitizens in the United States, a process he said would provide a more accurate count.

Warren said Trump's insistence on collecting data on people's citizenship status fit into a broader pattern of behavior for the president, accusing him of routinely pitting Americans of different races, religions and ethnicities against one another.

"Donald Trump has one big message to the American people: If there’s something wrong in your life, if there’s something that’s not working, blame them," she said. "Blame people who don’t look like you, blame people who don’t sound like you, blame people who don’t pray like you, blame people who weren’t born where you were born."

Warren's comments also came after she rolled out a sweeping immigration proposal that in many ways appeared to directly rebuke Trump-era policies. That plan would create new protections for migrants, decriminalize unauthorized border crossings and launch investigations into alleged abuses by the Trump administration.