Fox News's Shep Smith blasts Trump over 'xenophobic eruption' on minority lawmakers

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith on Monday called out President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE over his "misleading and xenophobic eruption" of criticism aimed at a group of minority congresswomen, saying that his latest remarks were part of the president's pattern of "distraction and division."

“Our reporting begins this Monday with President Trump’s latest misleading and xenophobic eruption of distraction and division, directed this time at a group of minority women in the United States Congress," Smith said on Monday in an opening monologue on Fox News's "Shepard Smith Reporting." 

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"Go back to where you came from. That’s what the president wrote on Twitter just yesterday, and today he called them haters of America and Jews,” Smith continued, before showing a clip of Trump defending his statements and saying that the lawmakers should leave the country if they aren't happy in the U.S. 

The remarks from Smith arrived just a day after Trump said that a group of minority congresswomen should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came" before speaking out about how the United States government should be run. 

Trump also claimed that the progressive Democrats "came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe."

He did not identify the lawmakers in his tweet. But the comments came amid a week of escalating tension between Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and four freshman House Democrats — Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.). 

Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley were born in the United States. Omar was born in Somalia before coming to the U.S. as a refugee with her family. All four are U.S. citizens.

Several Democratic and Republican lawmakers have derided the comments as racist. Pelosi on Monday called on House Democrats to support a resolution condemning Trump's latest statements. 

Trump, meanwhile, has adamantly defended his remarks, saying that he isn't concerned about the backlash because "many people agree with me.”

Smith has repeatedly criticized Trump during the president's time in the White House. The Fox anchor denounced Trump last month after he joke with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinWyden blasts FEC Republicans for blocking probe into NRA over possible Russia donations Trump's winning weapon: Time Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move MORE about their frustration with journalists.