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 pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump 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) WallaceThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters Chris Wallace becomes Trump era's 'equal opportunity inquisitor' Democrats point to Trump rhetoric on immigration in wake of two mass shootings 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 PelosiWhy President Trump needs to speak out on Hong Kong Anti-Trump vets join Steyer group in pressing Democrats to impeach Trump Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid MORE amid tensions with four progressive freshman Democrats: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezRepublicans plot comeback in New Jersey Joseph Kennedy mulling primary challenge to Markey in Massachusetts The latest victims of the far-left's environmental zealotry: Long Islanders MORE (D-N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarWorld Jewish Congress condemns Tlaib for suggesting boycott of Bill Maher's show A lesson of the Trump, Tlaib, Omar, Netanyahu affair Tlaib suggests boycotting Maher show after he calls anti-Israel boycott movement 'bulls--- purity test' MORE (D-Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibWorld Jewish Congress condemns Tlaib for suggesting boycott of Bill Maher's show F-bombs away: Why lawmakers are cursing now more than ever A lesson of the Trump, Tlaib, Omar, Netanyahu affair MORE (D-Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyJoseph Kennedy mulling primary challenge to Markey in Massachusetts Ocasio-Cortez brushes off Trump tweet claiming she is 'fuming' over Tlaib, Omar attention Trump finds consistent foil in 'Squad' 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 DavidsOcasio-Cortez chief of staff to leave her office The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller testimony gives Trump a boost as Dems ponder next steps House Democrats delete tweets attacking each other, pledge to unify 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.