Trump's tweets unify a fractured Democratic Party

A series of tweets from President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments 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 Pelosi 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments Bloomberg: Trump should be impeached On The Money: Congress races to beat deadline on shutdown | Trump asks Supreme Court to shield financial records from House Democrats | House passes bill to explicitly ban insider trading MORE (D-Calif.) and the four Democratic freshman members of Congress targeted by the president, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez on food assistance cuts: 'If this happened then, we might've just starved' Youth climate activists grade top 2020 Democrats on Green New Deal commitment Sanders to join youth climate strikers in Iowa MORE (D-N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarAl Green calls for including Trump's 'racism' in impeachment articles Republicans disavow GOP candidate who said 'we should hang' Omar Hillicon Valley: Trump officials propose retaliatory tariffs over French digital tax | FBI classifies FaceApp as threat | Twitter revamps policies to comply with privacy laws | Zuckerberg defends political ads policy MORE (D-Minn.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyAl Green calls for including Trump's 'racism' in impeachment articles Warren adds Ayanna Pressley as campaign co-chair Warren speech in Georgia interrupted by pro-charter school protesters MORE (D-Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibHouse moves ahead on long-stalled resolution supporting two states for Israelis and Palestinians GOP leader says he had 'a hard time' believing Pelosi Al Green calls for including Trump's 'racism' in impeachment articles 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 JeffriesLive coverage: Witnesses say Trump committed impeachable offenses Pelosi faces tough choices on impeachment managers Lawmakers turn attention to potential witnesses at Judiciary impeachment hearings 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) WallaceImpeachment puts spotlight on Georgia Republican eyeing Senate Fox's Cavuto reads mean letters urging him to stay away after Trump criticism Trump gives shoutout to Doug Collins ahead of next phase of impeachment hearings 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) GottheimerBipartisan lawmakers introduce amendment affirming US commitment to military aid to Israel Progressive group unveils first slate of 2020 congressional endorsements Hillicon Valley: Critics press feds to block Google, Fitbit deal | Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-linked accounts | TikTok looks to join online anti-terrorism effort | Apple pledges .5B to affordable housing 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 SandersTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Castro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Buttigieg draws fresh scrutiny, attacks in sprint to Iowa 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 JayapalHouse moves ahead on long-stalled resolution supporting two states for Israelis and Palestinians Overnight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Virginia moves to suspend Medicaid work rules | Powerful House panel sets 'Medicare for All' hearing | Hospitals sue over Trump price rule | FDA official grilled on vaping policy Jayapal pushes back on Gaetz's questioning of impeachment witness donations to Democrats 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 LeeAdam Schiff's star rises with impeachment hearings Lawmakers visit African migrants at US-Mexico border Hillicon Valley: FCC moves against Huawei, ZTE | Dem groups ask Google to reconsider ads policy | Bill introduced to increase data access during probes 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 DavidsWarren adds Ayanna Pressley as campaign co-chair Overnight Health Care: Democratic group to only endorse AG candidates who back abortion rights | Protect Our Care launches seven-figure ad buy to boost vulnerable Dems | California sues Juul Group launches seven-figure ad buy boosting vulnerable Democrats on drug prices 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."