CNN seeks Republicans to criticize Trump's 'racist comments'

CNN put out a call for Republicans to weigh in on President Trump's controversial tweet targeting a group of progressive Democratic lawmakers, as many members of the president's party refrain from commenting on the remarks. 

In a tweet, CNN's John Berman called for GOP members of Congress to call in and respond to "the President's racist comments."

"The phone lines are open. If you are a Republican member of Congress who has issues with the President's racist comments this weekend, we will take your call," Berman tweeted.

Trump's Sunday tweets, which suggested a group of Democrats "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came," have ignited a political firestorm.

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The tweets appeared to attack a group of progressive freshman lawmakers: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), all of whom are U.S. citizens. Omar is the only one of the four not born in the United States. She came to the U.S. after leaving Somalia as a refugee with her family at age 12.

Democrats have widely denounced the tweets as racist. 

Some Republicans have weighed in, but the party has not widely criticized the president or deemed his comments racist. 

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Maryland Rep. Andy HarrisAndrew (Andy) Peter HarrisConservatives call on Pelosi to cancel August recess GOP put on the back foot by Trump's race storm The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump creates new firestorm with 'go back' remarks MORE (R) defended the president, saying the tweets are "obviously not racist." 

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWhite House won't move forward with billions in foreign aid cuts GOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads Cindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death MORE (R-S.C.), one of Trump's closest allies on Capitol Hill, said Trump should "knock it down a notch" and urged him to "aim higher" in his attacks.