Jake Tapper on Trump's rhetoric: 'No more dog whistles, just naked racism'

CNN anchor Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperButtigieg says voting for Trump is 'at best' looking the other way on racism White House trade adviser says Chinese tariffs are not hurting US Former acting solicitor general: 'Literally unfathomable' that Trump would retweet conspiracy theory about Epstein death MORE said the "send her back" chants at President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE's Wednesday rally is indicative of his 2020 reelection strategy — rooted in blatant racism. 

"This is all part and parcel of the president's 2020 reelection strategy, no more dog whistles, just naked racism," Tapper said Thursday. "Telling American citizens who are a different color to 'go back where they came from.' It’s a campaign tactic we need to be aware of as a tactic, not withstanding the obvious immorality of bigotry." 

The crowd at Trump's North Carolina rally on Wednesday night broke into chants of "send her back" after the president renewed an attack on Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarJewish Democrats decry Trump's 'loyalty' remarks Poll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas Pelosi speaks with Israeli president after Trump controversy MORE (D-Minn.), who was born in Somalia.

ADVERTISEMENT

"[Omar] has made controversial comments herself, though the president's lies about what she has said and demonizing of her prompted results last night that was so shocking even some of the meekest and least critical Republicans in the House of Representatives voiced their discomfort, if not horror and revulsion," Tapper said. 

Some House Republicans joined Democrats in speaking out agains the rally chant, just days after only four members of the GOP voted with Democrats to condemn the president's initial tweet telling four Democratic congresswomen — all people of color — to "go back" to the "crime infested placed from which they came."

It was targeted at Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezStudents retreating from politics as campuses become progressive playgrounds 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 (N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibIsrael should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support Jewish Democrats decry Trump's 'loyalty' remarks Poll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas MORE (Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyPoll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas NJ college censures trustee over posts targeting 'the squad' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (Mass.) and Omar. Only Omar was born outside the U.S. 

Trump tried to disavow the chant Thursday, telling reporters, “I was not happy with it. I disagree with it.”

He claimed to have helped stop the chants by starting to speak "very quickly." 

"That’s a naked lie," Tapper said. "When the chants started the president stopped talking he let the crowd go and he did not resume until the chant died out on its own."

CNN's timer clocked Trump's pause at 13 seconds as he let the crowd chant "send her back." 

A Trump campaign spokesperson called Tapper's comments "ridiculous."

"That’s ridiculous, but you know that CNN is gonna CNN," the Trump campaign spokesperson said.

-- Updated at 5:56 p.m.