House GOP leader says Trump's tweets were not racist

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyCongress eyes billion to billion to combat coronavirus Lawmakers race to pass emergency coronavirus funding Warren introduces bill to redirect wall money to coronavirus MORE (R-Calif.) said Tuesday he does not think President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Congress eyes billion to billion to combat coronavirus Sanders makes the case against Biden ahead of SC primary MORE tweeted racist remarks when he called on four progressive congresswomen to "go back" to their home countries, even though all are U.S. citizens.

"No," McCarthy said at a Capitol Hill press conference when asked if he thought the tweets were racist.

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The GOP leader's comments came just hours ahead of a scheduled vote on a Democratic resolution condemning the president's “racist tweets.” The measure is slated to come to the floor Tuesday evening.

McCarthy's position on Trump's tweets puts him at odds with a handful of GOP lawmakers who have chastised the president, though most have remained silent on the topic.

Rep. Will Hurd (Texas), the only African American House Republican, whose district has a large number of Hispanic residents, blasted Trump’s tweets as “racist” and “xenophobic” in a CNN interview Monday.

“The four women he is referring to are actually citizens of the United States, three of the four were born here,” Hurd said.

Trump’s Sunday remarks were aimed at progressive freshman Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez cuts census ad with Lin-Manuel Miranda Bill banning menthol in cigarettes divides Democrats, with some seeing racial bias Industry group warns fracking ban could cost 7.5M jobs in US MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarBill banning menthol in cigarettes divides Democrats, with some seeing racial bias Progressive group leader describes why Warren would be better than Sanders Omar offers sneak peek at her forthcoming memoir MORE (Minn.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOvernight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — California monitoring 8,400 people for coronavirus | Pence taps career official to coordinate response | Dems insist on guardrails for funding Bill banning menthol in cigarettes divides Democrats, with some seeing racial bias Progressive Democrat confronts Rep. Cuellar at parade, calls for him to debate her: report MORE(Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBill banning menthol in cigarettes divides Democrats, with some seeing racial bias Omar offers sneak peek at her forthcoming memoir Sanders wins endorsement of top Muslim group MORE (Mich.).

Omar is a naturalized citizen from Somalia.

Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) on Monday tweeted: "@realDonaldTrump’s tweets from this weekend were racist and he should apologize. We must work as a country to rise above hate, not enable it."

McCarthy also weighed in on Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — California monitoring 8,400 people for coronavirus | Pence taps career official to coordinate response | Dems insist on guardrails for funding Overnight Energy: Murkowski, Manchin unveil major energy bill | Lawmakers grill EPA chief over push to slash agency's budget | GOP lawmaker accuses Trump officials of 'playing politics' over Yucca Mountain Hillicon Valley — Presented by Facebook — Federal court rules tech giants can censor content | Trump upends surveillance fight | Senate passes bill barring federal funds for Huawei equipment MORE’s (D-Calif.) spat last week with Ocasio-Cortez, who accused Pelosi of “the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”

“I do not believe the Speaker of the House was racist last week either when those individuals on her side of the aisle, who are claiming the president is racist, when they claimed she was racist,” McCarthy told reporters. “I do not believe that. I believe this is about ideology. This is about socialism versus freedom and it's very clear what the debate is happening."

McCarthy argued that the four lawmakers are using Trump’s recent comments to focus on impeachment.

“I understand when I listened to the press conference yesterday, they talked more about impeachment than anything else," he said, referencing a news conference held Monday evening by the congresswomen.