Top Missouri newspaper condemns GOP's 'shameful silence' on Trump's 'racism'

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board on Thursday condemned Missouri's Republican delegation and Republicans across the U.S. for their “shameful silence” about President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP congressman slams Trump over report that U.S. bombed former anti-ISIS coalition headquarters US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal Trump says lawmakers should censure Schiff MORE’s attacks on a group of minority congresswomen.

The board wrote that Trump telling the women to "go back" where they came from was "racist to its core," arguing that "those who don’t call it out enable it."

"Yet of the almost dozen Republican members of Congress who represent Missouri and southern Illinois, precious few have made any public statements at all about it, clearly fearful of upsetting Trump’s base," the board wrote, before noting how some GOP lawmakers have responded to the president's latest comments. 

The board particularly took issue with Rep. Jason SmithJason Thomas SmithPressure rises on Cheney to make decision Seniors deserve access to Health Savings Accounts House passes sweeping budget, debt limit deal MORE's (R-Mo.) defense of Trump's comments, saying that the congressman should read the president's tweets again.

But overall, the board voiced the most outrage over what it calls the "cowardly, mute void" of GOP lawmakers from the region. 

"Given the bright red line that Trump has so enthusiastically crossed this week, the question of whether to continue supporting him — either assertively or through inappropriate silence — is no longer merely an indicator of party loyalty or policy priorities; it has become a test of courage, character and fundamental decency," the board concludes. "And these elected officials have failed it."

The editorial comes days after Trump sparked an uproar by telling four minority congresswomen to go back to the "crime infested places" they came from before speaking out about the U.S. government.

Trump also claimed that the Democrats — Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarKrystal Ball on Sanders debate performance: 'He absolutely hit it out of the park' Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey endorses Biden Democratic strategist on Sanders debate performance: 'I just think he might've topped out' MORE (Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez, Thunberg, Rapinoe make BBC's 100 most inspiring women of 2019 Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey endorses Biden Democratic strategist on Sanders debate performance: 'I just think he might've topped out' MORE (N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibKrystal Ball on Sanders debate performance: 'He absolutely hit it out of the park' Omar endorses Sanders presidential bid Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio MORE (Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOmar endorses Sanders presidential bid Ocasio-Cortez to endorse Sanders for president Pennsylvania candidate would be first autistic woman elected to a state legislature MORE (Mass.) — were "from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe." Omar is the only one among the four to be born outside the U.S. They are all U.S. citizens.

The comments were followed by a North Carolina rally crowd on Wednesday repeatedly chanting "send her back" as Trump singled out Omar. 

The House on Tuesday voted to condemn Trump's remarks as racist. Four Republicans, as well as Independent Justin AmashJustin AmashOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria pullout Grand Rapids synagogue targeted with anti-Semitic posters on its door MORE (Mich.), joined every Democrat in approving the resolution. 

Trump has stood by remarks about the lawmakers, saying that they should leave the U.S. if they aren't happy. He said Thursday that he disagreed with the chants that rally attendees engaged in.