House GOP leader says Trump's tweets were not racist

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyRepublicans suffer whiplash from Trump's erratic week Steve King defends remarks on rape, incest Omar says US should reconsider aid to Israel MORE (R-Calif.) said Tuesday he does not think President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham: America must 'accept the pain that comes in standing up to China' Weld 'thrilled' more Republicans are challenging Trump New data challenges Trump's economic narrative 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.


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-CortezTlaib says Trump 'scared' of 'Squad' The Memo: Dangers loom for Trump on immigration Students retreating from politics as campuses become progressive playgrounds MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTlaib says Trump 'scared' of 'Squad' Trump to return to North Carolina to stump for special election candidate Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota MORE (Minn.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyTlaib says Trump 'scared' of 'Squad' Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Poll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas MORE(Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibTlaib says Trump 'scared' of 'Squad' Michigan city declines to renew contract with ICE to hold detainees Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota 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 Pelosi11 Essential reads you missed this week Pelosi asks Democrats for 'leverage' on impeachment Is there internet life after thirty? 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.