House

Hoyer slams McCarthy’s defense of Trump tweets: ‘Baloney’

Stefani Reynolds

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Tuesday hammered Republicans defending President Trump’s attacks on several female lawmakers of color, reserving his sharpest barbs for the GOP leaders who are whipping against a resolution condemning the president’s remarks.

“To make no comment, to not support this resolution, is to give some imprimatur of acceptance to this kind of rhetoric,” Hoyer told reporters in the Capitol. “[It’s] dangerous to America.”

{mosads}Moments earlier, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) rejected the notion that Trump invoked racist tropes in his weekend demand that four minority Democrats — Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) — “go back” to the countries they came from.

Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley were all born in the United States; Omar immigrated from east Africa in the early 1990s and became a U.S. citizen in 2000.

McCarthy said Trump was highlighting the liberal policy preferences of the four outspoken freshmen, not targeting them because of their ethnicity.

“I believe this is about ideology,” McCarthy said. “This is about socialism versus freedom and it’s very clear what the debate is happening.”

Hoyer, asked to comment on McCarthy’s assessment, did not pause a moment. 

“That’s baloney. It has nothing to do with socialism,” he said, lamenting that only a handful of Republicans have strongly denounced Trump’s comments.

“[It’s] dangerous and offensive to our people, and a message wholly at odds with the huge picture of Ronald Reagan that the leader has hanging in his office,” Hoyer added, referring to McCarthy.

The back and forth came hours before Hoyer and House Democrats have scheduled a vote on a resolution condemning Trump’s remarks as explicitly “racist.” The resolution, sponsored by Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.), has united the Democrats, who are rallying behind the four progressives. 

“This is a resolution based in who we are as a people, as well as a recognition of the unacceptability of what his goals were,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said during a closed-door meeting of the House Democratic Caucus in the Capitol.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ayanna Pressley Donald Trump Ilhan Omar Jamie Raskin Kevin McCarthy Nancy Pelosi Rashida Tlaib Steny Hoyer Tom Malinowski
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