Top Democrat blasts Trump's 'racist tweet' about progressive congresswomen

Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) on Sunday blasted what he called a "racist tweet" from President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says inviting Russia to G7 'a question of common sense' Pentagon chief does not support invoking Insurrection Act Dershowitz: Does President Trump have power to declare martial law? MORE in which the president called on progressive Democratic congresswomen to return to the “broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

"That's a racist tweet. Telling people to go back where they came from?" Luján, the highest-ranking Latino in the House, told host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceSessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines Cornel West: 'We're witnessing the collapse of the legitimacy of leadership' Head of Minnesota police chiefs association: Police not trained in hold used on George Floyd MORE on "Fox News Sunday."

ADVERTISEMENT

"These are American citizens elected by voters in the United States of America," he added.

Luján said Trump’s focus should be on issues such as immigration and drug prices, not "picking these fights" and "saying such racist things."

Trump earlier Sunday did not identify any members of Congress by name, but the tweets came after he defended Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump congratulates Steve King challenger on GOP primary win The Hill's Morning Report - Protesters' defiance met with calls to listen Calls for police reform sparks divisions in Congress MORE amid tensions with four progressive freshman Democrats: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezNew York City issues Monday night curfew amid protests Engel primary challenger drops out, endorses fellow challenger Trump says he will designate antifa a terrorist organization MORE (D-N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarAmash readying legislation allowing victims to sue officers Democrats call for Congress to take action following death of George Floyd Black Caucus member unveils bill to create commission addressing legacy of slavery MORE (D-Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibPelosi: George Floyd death is 'a crime' Overnight Defense: Pentagon memo warns pandemic could go until summer 2021 | Watchdog finds Taliban violence is high despite US deal | Progressive Dems demand defense cuts Progressives demand defense budget cuts amid coronavirus pandemic MORE (D-Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyDemocrats call for Congress to take action following death of George Floyd Black Caucus member unveils bill to create commission addressing legacy of slavery House Democrats unveil measure to condemn police brutality MORE (D-Mass.). All of the four except Omar, who is a U.S. citizen, were born in the United States.

Luján, a top Pelosi ally, also defended the Speaker after Ocasio-Cortez noted the insurgents Pelosi dismissed in an interview with The New York Times were all women of color.

"As a person of color ... I can tell you that Nancy Pelosi has lifted up my voice," Luján told Wallace. "I continue to look toward her leadership."

"When you have disagreements with your colleagues, you have a conversation with them," Luján said.

Luján was more evasive when asked about a tweet from the official House Democrats account blasting Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, for saying Rep. Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsGun control group rolls out House endorsements Minority lawmakers gain unprecedented clout amid pandemic The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Dr. Tom Inglesby says society will have to learn to live with virus until vaccine emerges; Good news on vaccine trial propels stocks MORE (D-Kan.) was complicit in racist policies.

"The tone of what was included in that specific message to Sharice Davids ... was wrong and something I did not support," he said.