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 TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates 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) WallaceChris Wallace: Republicans, Democrats were both 'fed up' with Gordon Sondland Trump attacks Fox News for interviewing Swalwell Chris Wallace: Sondland testimony 'took out the bus and ran over' Trump, top aides 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 PelosiOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Deal on defense bill proves elusive | Hill, Holmes offer damaging testimony | Trump vows to block Navy from ousting officer from SEALs On The Money: Trump signs short-term spending bill to avoid shutdown | Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 | California high court strikes down law targeting Trump tax returns Wasserman Schultz makes bid for House Appropriations Committee gavel MORE amid tensions with four progressive freshman Democrats: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezPoll: Biden and Sanders tied nationally, followed by Warren More than 100 Democrats sign letter calling for Stephen Miller to resign Steyer, Biden clash over climate credentials MORE (D-N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarPoll: Biden and Sanders tied nationally, followed by Warren More than 100 Democrats sign letter calling for Stephen Miller to resign Booker responds to Onion article mocking Buttigieg over stock photo MORE (D-Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibPoll: Biden and Sanders tied nationally, followed by Warren More than 100 Democrats sign letter calling for Stephen Miller to resign Hillicon Valley: Progressives oppose funding bill over surveillance authority | Senators call for 5G security coordinator | Facebook gets questions over location tracking | Louisiana hit by ransomware attack MORE (D-Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyWarren speech in Georgia interrupted by pro-charter school protesters Poll: Biden and Sanders tied nationally, followed by Warren Ayanna Pressley introduces extensive criminal justice reform resolution 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 DavidsOvernight Health Care: Democratic group to only endorse AG candidates who back abortion rights | Protect Our Care launches seven-figure ad buy to boost vulnerable Dems | California sues Juul Group launches seven-figure ad buy boosting vulnerable Democrats on drug prices Warren doubles down — to Democrats' chagrin, and Trump's delight 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.