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 TrumpTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Arkansas governor says it's 'disappointing' vaccinations have become 'political' Watch live: Trump attends rally in Phoenix 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. 

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The board particularly took issue with Rep. Jason SmithJason Thomas SmithTrump unhappy with Guilfoyle backing Greitens: report Giuliani to stump for Greitens in Missouri GAO rules Biden freeze on border wall funds legal 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 OmarOvernight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia US launches second Somalia strike in week Omar reflects on personal experiences with hate in making case for new envoy MORE (Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezJD Vance takes aim at culture wars, childless politicians Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary On The Money: Yellen to Congress: Raise the debt ceiling or risk 'irreparable harm' | Frustration builds as infrastructure talks drag MORE (N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOmar reflects on personal experiences with hate in making case for new envoy House passes bill requiring EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water Ohio becomes battleground for rival Democratic factions MORE (Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOmar reflects on personal experiences with hate in making case for new envoy Overnight Health Care: Fauci clashes with Paul - again | New York reaches .1B settlement with opioid distributors | Delta variant accounts for 83 percent of US COVID-19 cases Duckworth, Pressley introduce bill to provide paid family leave for those who experience miscarriage 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.

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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 AmashAmash warns of turning lawmakers like Cheney into 'heroes' Cheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP Biden: 'Prince Philip gladly dedicated himself to the people of the UK' 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.