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 reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report 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) WallaceTrump rips 'nasty' and 'obnoxious' Chris Wallace after he presses Scalise about impeachment Scalise: Louisiana defeat doesn't make Trump 'look bad' Scalise: Trump pardons will improve military morale MORE on "Fox News Sunday."

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"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 PelosiSchumer calls on Trump to testify as part of impeachment inquiry Sunday shows — Spotlight shifts to Sondland ahead of impeachment inquiry testimony Perception won't be reality, once AI can manipulate what we see MORE amid tensions with four progressive freshman Democrats: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez'Saturday Night Live' presents Trump impeachment hearings with 'pizzazz' of soap opera Louisiana governor wins reelection White House backs Stephen Miller amid white nationalist allegations MORE (D-N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOcasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field Krystal Ball: Billionaires panicking over Sanders candidacy Omar renews claim Stephen Miller is a 'white nationalist' amid calls for him to step down MORE (D-Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibAyanna Pressley introduces extensive criminal justice reform resolution Ethics panel extends probe into Tlaib, says she likely misused campaign funds Ocasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field MORE (D-Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyAyanna Pressley introduces extensive criminal justice reform resolution Ocasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field Justice Democrats official denies that progressives struggle with electability 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 DavidsWarren doubles down — to Democrats' chagrin, and Trump's delight Here are the Democrats who aren't co-sponsoring an assault weapons ban Centrist House Democrats press for committees to follow pay-go rule 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.