Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman to serve in the US Congress, has slammed President Donald Trump for falsely implying that she and other freshmen House Democrats were not natural-born American citizens.
On Sunday, Trump in a series of tweets said: “So interesting to see ‘progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the US, the greatest and most powerful nation on earth, how our government is to be run.
“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements.”
Although he did not name anyone in his tweets, the President had last week referenced Ocasio-Cortez, the New York Representative, when he was defending Pelosi.
In response to his tweets, Ocasio-Cortez, who was born to a Puerto Rican family, also took to Twitter on Sunday night, said that the “the country where I ‘come from’ and the country we all swear to, is the United States”.
“But given how you’ve destroyed our border with inhumane camps, all at a benefit to you and the corps who profit off them, you are absolutely right about the corruption laid at your feet.”
She added: “You are angry because you can’t conceive of an America that includes us. You rely on a frightened America for your plunder… On top of not accepting an America that elected us, you cannot accept that we don’t fear you, either. You can’t accept that we will call your bluff and offer a positive vision for this country. And that’s what makes you seethe.”
Trump’s tweets came after a group of Democrats, who are women of colour, testified last week in front of a House Oversight and Reform committee hearing, explaining what they saw during their tour of the facilities housing migrants amid a border crisis.
The group included Representatives Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
Responding to the President’s remarks, Tlaib, who is the first Muslim woman to serve in the Michigan legislature, tweeted on Sunday: “Want a response to a lawless and complete failure of a President? He is the crisis. His dangerous ideology is the crisis. He needs to be impeached.”
The first black woman to be elected to the Boston City Council as well as to Congress from Massachusetts, Pressley tweeted: “This is what racism looks like. We are what democracy looks like. And we’re not going anywhere. Except back to DC to fight for the families you marginalize and vilify everyday.”
Condemning Trump, Omar also in a tweet said: “You are stoking white nationalism because you are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda.”
Omar is the first Somali-American, the first naturalized citizen from Africa, the first non-white woman elected from Minnesota and one of the first two Muslim women (along with Tlaib) to serve in Congress.