Trump campaign aide defends tweets: Congresswomen made 'very disturbing statements'

Former White House aide Mercedes Schlapp defended President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE’s repeated attacks on four minority congresswomen during a Sunday appearance on ABC's "This Week,", accusing them of anti-Semitism and pushing a “government-controlled agenda.”

Schlapp, who now works for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, defended Trump’s reaction to a chant of “send her back” that erupted during a campaign rally last week as he attacked Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle MORE (D-Minn.)

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“What I’m unhappy about are the chants of the squad,” said Schlapp, the former White House director of strategic communications. The "Squad" is a nickname for the four progressive congresswomen with whom Trump has been feuding: Omar, and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezImpeachment throws curveball in Iowa to sidelined senators Sanders says it's 'disappointing' he's not on campaign trail in Iowa The Hill's Campaign Report: Ten days to Iowa MORE (D-N.Y), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyThe Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power Pressley says she 'would welcome the opportunity' to educate DeVos after abortion, slavery comparison Massachusetts governor apologizes after calling Pressley speech a 'rant' MORE (D-Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden Democrats press Trump administration to stop DNA collection from detained migrants Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive MORE (D-Mich.).

“You’re seeing the squad dictating the rules of the Democratic party … they’re pushing forwards very disturbing statements,” Schlapp told ABC's George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosGOP senator on Trump soliciting foreign interference: 'Those are just statements' Alan Dershowitz: Argument president cannot be impeached for abusing power a 'strong one' Pelosi: Trump is 'impeached for life' MORE in the interview.

She specifically cited comments by Ocasio-Cortez describing border detention facilities as concentration camps and critiques of the Israel lobby by Omar that her critics have said invoked anti-Semitic stereotypes.

"They're fundamentally criticizing the United states, they’re attacking our law enforcement... that to us is very disconcerting," Schlapp said, demurring when Stephanopoulos pointed out that Trump himself has repeatedly criticized the United States.

Schlapp echoed Trump’s simultaneous defense of the attendees and condemnation of the "send her back" chant, saying Trump “made it very clear he disagreed with the chant and I will tell you, he stands with those people in North Carolina, across the country who support him. And why? Because they love America.”

Trump has repeatedly questioned the four representatives’ patriotism amid the fallout over the tweets, falsely accusing Ocasio-Cortez of calling Americans “garbage” and on Sunday morning tweeting that the four were not “capable of loving our Country.”