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 TrumpGraham: America must 'accept the pain that comes in standing up to China' Weld 'thrilled' more Republicans are challenging Trump New data challenges Trump's economic narrative 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) WallaceSunday shows - White House stresses Trump's determination in China trade fight as GOP challenger emerges Klobuchar knocks Trump: 'This negotiating by tweet hasn't been working' Mnuchin: Trump's 'as determined as ever' on China trade fight 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 Pelosi11 Essential reads you missed this week Pelosi asks Democrats for 'leverage' on impeachment Is there internet life after thirty? MORE amid tensions with four progressive freshman Democrats: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezTwo years after Harvey's devastation, the wake-up call has not been heeded Tlaib says Trump 'scared' of 'Squad' The Memo: Dangers loom for Trump on immigration MORE (D-N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTlaib says Trump 'scared' of 'Squad' Trump to return to North Carolina to stump for special election candidate Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota MORE (D-Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibTlaib says Trump 'scared' of 'Squad' Michigan city declines to renew contract with ICE to hold detainees Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota MORE (D-Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyTlaib says Trump 'scared' of 'Squad' Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Poll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas 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.