House GOP leader says Trump's tweets were not racist

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHouse GOP uses procedural tool to protest proxy voting The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - Tensions rise with Trump, Barr Watch live: McCarthy holds news briefing MORE (R-Calif.) said Tuesday he does not think President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts 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-CortezHarry Styles hits back at criticism over wearing dress on Vogue cover 'It's not a slogan': Progressives push back on Obama's comments on 'defund the police' movement Obama says Democrats should make sure Ocasio-Cortez has a platform MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan Omar'It's not a slogan': Progressives push back on Obama's comments on 'defund the police' movement Meet the three Democrats who could lead foreign affairs in the House Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far MORE (Minn.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna Pressley'It's not a slogan': Progressives push back on Obama's comments on 'defund the police' movement Overnight Health Care: CDC panel recommends who gets vaccine first | McConnell offering new relief bill | Hahn downplays White House meeting on vaccines Louisville mayor declares racism a public health crisis MORE(Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks GOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' 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 PelosiBiden backs 0B compromise coronavirus stimulus bill US records over 14 million coronavirus cases On The Money: COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks | Slowing job growth raises fears of double-dip recession | Biden officially announces Brian Deese as top economic adviser 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.