William Cummings, USA TODAY
Published 1:20 p.m. ET July 17, 2019 | Updated 1:43 p.m. ET July 17, 2019
President Donald Trump dug in Tuesday on his comments directed at four progressive Democratic congresswomen of color, insisting they can “go wherever they want or they can stay,” adding, “They shouldn’t hate our country.”
WASHINGTON – Eric Trump expressed strong support on Wednesday for his father’s tweets telling minority Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to their countries of origin and fix the problems there before complaining about issues in the United States.
“I love the tweet,” President Donald Trump’s son said during a Fox News interview. “If you don’t love our country, get out, leave.”
“If you complain about our country” you should “go experience somewhere else in the world,” he said. “I’m telling you, 95% of the country is behind him in this message. People love this nation.”
A USA TODAY/Ipsos poll found support for the president’s remarks was far lower than his son’s estimate. Sixt-eight percent of respondents found the tweets offensive, although 57% of Republicans said they agreed with the president’s message. Thirty percent said they agreed that people who criticize the U.S. are “un-American.”
Overall, 59% called the president’s tweets “un-American.”
The president’s tweets were aimed at a group of four liberal House members known as “The Squad“: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. On Tuesday, the House passed a resolution condemning the president’s remarks as racist.
This is what racism looks like’: ‘Congresswomen react to Trump’s ‘go back’ tweetstorm
Eric Trump called the four congresswomen “an absolute clown show” and “the most hate-filled group I’ve ever seen before.”
“They’re letting ICE offices get stormed, and have the American flag ripped down and have the Mexican flag put up. They say anti-Semitic things every single day,” said the president’s son.
The four lawmakers have been highly critical of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, have called for the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and have referred to migrant detention centers as concentration camps, but it was unclear why Eric Trump believed they were behind recent protests at ICE facilities.
He dismissed the cries of racism in response to his father’s tweets as “name-calling.” And he accused the four congresswomen of labeling all their opponents as racist as a political tactic.
But he said it was “not going to work when you have the greatest economy that’s ever existed in the U.S.”
“People are doing awesome. America is doing awesome,” he said.
“Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade pointed out that the president had lost support among independents.
“You know how phony all of these polls are,” Eric Trump replied, before claiming that his father’s poll numbers “have never been better.”
“His polls right now were better than Obama at the exact same time, His polls right now were better than Bush at the exact same time. He’s killing it in the polls,” he said.
Trump did not specify which polls he was referring to, but President Barack Obama’s RealClearPolitics average approval rating was actually slightly higher than Trump’s at this point in his first term, hovering around 46% compared to Trump’s 44.6%. And President George W. Bush’s average approval rating was much higher in mid-July of his third year in office at about 57%.
Contributing: Susan Page
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