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On Thursday, President Trump attempted to distance himself from the racist chant of "send her back" about Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar at a Trump campaign rally Wednesday in North Carolina. The chants rang across the rally in response to Trump's own verbal attack against the congresswoman. He did nothing to intervene.
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives narrowly passed a resolution condemning Trump's racist remarks against Congressmembers Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. We speak with Ibram X. Kendi, founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University.
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: On Thursday, President Trump attempted to distance himself from the racist chant "Send her back," about Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, that ran out through his campaign rally Wednesday night in Greenville, North Carolina. In fact, he did nothing to intervene as the chant rang out, pausing a full 13 seconds, in response to his own verbal attack on the congresswoman.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Omar blamed the United States for the crisis in Venezuela. I mean, think of that one. And she looks down with contempt on the hard-working Americans, saying that ignorance is pervasive in many parts of this country. And obviously and importantly, Omar has a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic screeds.
CROWD: Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!
AMY GOODMAN: Trump paused for a full 13 seconds for "Send her back" to ring out through the rally.
Trump's remarks came one day after the House of Representatives voted to condemn his racist tweet telling four progressive congresswomen of color -- freshman Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omarto "go back to the crime-infested places from which they came." Three of the congresswomen were born in the United States. Omar is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Somalia. She has been a citizen longer than first lady Melania Trump. Despite outrage about Trump's tweets, the president doubled down on his racist attacks, saying the congresswomen were "hate-filled extremists who are constantly trying to tear our country down."
Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office Thursday, Trump attempted to distance himself from his supporters' chants.
JON KARL: When your supporters last night were chanting "Send her back," why didn't you stop them? Why didn't you ask them to stop saying that?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, number one, I think I did. I started speaking very quickly. It really was a loud -- I disagree with it, by the way. But it was quite a chant. And I felt a little bit badly about it. But I will say this: I did -- and I started speaking very quickly. But it started up rather, rather fast, as you probably noticed.
JON KARL: So, you'll tell your supporters never to say that again?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, I would say that II was not happy with it. I disagree with it.