Trump's tweets unify a fractured Democratic Party

A series of tweets from President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump administration eyes proposal to block jet engine sales to China: report Trump takes track to open Daytona 500 Brazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record MORE on Sunday telling a contingent of progressive congresswomen to “go back” to the “places from which they came” allowed the Democratic Party the chance to present a unified front following a week of internal clashes.

In the tweets, Trump took aim at unnamed "'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe," and called on them to "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."

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The statements came amid escalating tensions between House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: 'I'm not counting Joe Biden out' Short defends Trump's tweets as a 'very effective way' to communicate with Americans Democrats fear rule of law crumbling under Trump MORE (D-Calif.) and the four Democratic freshman members of Congress targeted by the president, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezJulián Castro endorses Rep. Cuellar's primary opponent in Texas Overnight Energy: Controversial Trump adviser reportedly returning to EPA | Delta aims to be first carbon neutral airline | Dem senator gives EPA D-minus on 'forever chemicals' Intercept Bureau Chief: Culinary Union concerns over "Medicare for All" are faulty MORE (D-N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTlaib says she held Omar's hand during 'triggering' moments at Trump's State of the Union speech Key House Democrat says Perez must go: 'He doesn't lead on anything' Democrats tear into Trump's speech: It was a 'MAGA rally' MORE (D-Minn.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyTlaib says she held Omar's hand during 'triggering' moments at Trump's State of the Union speech Pressley slams trolls over alopecia comments Pramila Jayapal endorses Democrat Henry Cuellar's primary challenger MORE (D-Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibWill Bernie have to turn on his bros? Rashida Tlaib detained by police during protest against low wages at Detroit airport Trump, like most presidents, takes credit for American workers' effort MORE (D-Mich.). All four are American citizens, and all but Omar were born in the United States.

The freshman progressives have been at the center of recent rifts in the party over how to address the crisis at the southern border and racial politics.

But on Sunday, the rebuke was swift from both allies of the insurgent “Squad” and more moderate figures in Democratic House leadership. 

Pelosi condemned the statements, tweeting “When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again. Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power.”

Pelosi ally Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesLawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts On The Money: Fed chief warns Congress on deficits | Trump blames Powell after Dow dips slightly | Trump withdraws nomination of former US attorney for Treasury post Jeffries: Trump budget is a 'declaration of war on the American dream' MORE (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), did not reproduce the tweet but called Trump a “racial arsonist.”

“Racist attack on four strongly progressive congresswomen of color will not weaken them. IT ONLY MAKES US STRONGER,” Jeffries tweeted

Assistant House Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the highest-ranking Latino in the House, was first informed of the tweet by Fox News’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceConway: Reported sexist Bloomberg remarks 'far worse' than what Trump said on 'Access Hollywood' tape Candidates make electability arguments, talk Bloomberg as focus turns to more diverse states Buttigieg: Electability argument will sway voters of color because 'we dare not get this wrong' MORE on “Fox News Sunday” and immediately condemned it as “a racist tweet.”

"These are American citizens elected by voters in the United States of America," he added.

He followed up on Twitter shortly after, calling Trump's comment “a racist tweet from a racist president.” 

The co-chairman of the center-right Problem Solvers Caucus, which faced stinging criticism from many progressives for leading the revolt among House Democrats to force a vote on a Senate border aid bill, also defended the four congresswomen Sunday morning.

“The offensive comments made this morning about my colleagues are totally unacceptable and wrong,” Rep. Josh GottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerDemocrats tear into Trump's speech: It was a 'MAGA rally' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi plans to send impeachment articles next week The lawmakers who bucked their parties on the war powers resolution MORE (D-N.J.) wrote, linking to a Washington Post story about the tweets. “There is no place for it (in Congress or anywhere in our country).”

Fellow progressives also took aim at the tweets.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats redefine center as theirs collapses Speculation swirls around whether Bloomberg will make Las Vegas debate stage Pelosi: 'I'm not counting Joe Biden out' MORE (I-Vt.), a key ally of the four congresswomen, tweeted, “When I call the president a racist, this is what I'm talking about.”

Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalBand Portugal. The Man to join Sanders at campaign event in Tacoma Bloomberg builds momentum on Capitol Hill with new endorsements House Democrats' immigration bill would use tax dollars to import crime to America MORE (D-Wash.), who is considered an elder stateswoman of the party’s left flank, noted her own status as a naturalized immigrant and told Trump, “You can only HOPE to be as patriotic as we are.”

“Your cruelty is sickening. Your egotism is laughable. And you are going to successfully turn millions of Americans into supporters of your opponent in 2020 with these disgusting attacks,” she tweeted. “You are a disgrace to our country and our values.”

Another longtime House progressive, Rep. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeSenior black Democrats urge party chairman to take responsibility for Iowa Lawmakers with first-hand experience using food stamps call on Trump not to cut program Abortion wars flare up in Congress MORE (D-Calif.), took aim as well, tweeting “OMG, here we go again. My sisters in Congress are Americans. The voices of women of color have been ignored for far too long — but not anymore. This disgusting and racist attack won’t stop us.”

The rush to defend the progressive congresswomen come during a tumultuous time for the party. Pelosi’s clash with the representatives intensified recently when, after they were the only Democrats to vote against a House border funding bill, she told The New York Times’s Maureen Dowd, “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world. But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”

Ocasio-Cortez fired back, accusing Pelosi of singling out four women of color, a statement that was condemned harshly by members of the CBC, some of whom have accused the progressive group Justice Democrats, which is closely aligned with Ocasio-Cortez, of seeking to oust some of the group's members through primary challenges.

Friction escalated between the two factions within the party after the official House Democratic Caucus Twitter account blasted Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, for a tweet that has since been deleted that said votes by Rep. Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsHillicon Valley: US hits Huawei with new charges | Judge orders Pentagon to halt 'war cloud' work amid Amazon challenge | IRS removes guidance on Fortnite game currency Democrats criticize FCC for not taking action against DC station broadcasting Russian disinformation Haaland, Davids included in 'Jeopardy' clue for historic first as Native American congresswomen MORE (D-Kan.) had “enabled a racist system.”

All four freshman representatives also responded on Twitter, with Ocasio-Cortez saying, "Mr. President, the country I 'come from,' & the country we all swear to, is the United States. But given how you’ve destroyed our border with inhumane camps, all at a benefit to you & the corps who profit off them, you are absolutely right about the corruption laid at your feet." 

Pressley wrote, "THIS is what racism looks like. WE are what democracy looks like. And we’re not going anywhere. Except back to DC to fight for the families you marginalize and vilify everyday." 

"I am fighting corruption in OUR country," Tlaib tweeted. "I do it every day when I hold your admin accountable as a U.S. Congresswoman."

Omar, meanwhile, tweeted, "As Members of Congress, the only country we swear an oath to is the United States. Which is why we are fighting to protect it from the worst, most corrupt and inept president we have ever seen."