Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) is determined to set the record straight after President Donald Trump's recent Twitter outbursts telling certain congresswomen to "go back" where they supposedly came from. In a news conference in Washington D.C. on Monday, July 15, Ocasio-Cortez — joined on stage by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Massachussetts), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) — gave a powerful speech about what it means for her to be an American. This video of Ocasio-Cortez' response to Trump's "go back" comments is so moving.
On July 14, 2019, Trump posted a Twitter thread in which he criticized "'progressive' Democrat congresswomen" who he claimed were from "countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe" for "loudly and viciously" telling the people of the United States how the government should run. In the thread, he suggested the congresswomen go back to the "crime infested" places they supposedly came from. Although Trump's tweets didn't mention any names outright, it seems he was referring to Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, Omar, and Tlaib — all four of whom are, in fact, U.S. citizens, and three of whom were born within U.S. borders. Trump also posted a tweet on July 16, in which he refers to "the squad," a group nickname given to these four freshmen congresswomen. The White House did not previously respond to Elite Daily's request for comment on the president's remarks.
In the July 15 news conference, Ocasio-Cortez had some powerful words for the president in response to his comments. In her speech, she shared the memory of her first visit to Washington D.C., as a child, when her father told her that American monuments — and symbolically, America — belong to "all of us."
Here's what Ocasio-Cortez said, in part, during her speech:
When I was a little girl my father took me to the reflecting pool here [in Washington D.C.] ... It was my first time ever visiting Washington D.C. ... He rested me on the side of the reflecting pool and had my toes dip in the water and he had me look at the Washington Monument, had me look at the Capitol, had me look at the entirety of the Capitol of our great country. And he looked at everything and he pointed to all of it and he said, 'This belongs to all of us. This belongs to you and it belongs to me.'
After sharing her anecdote, Ocasio-Cortez went on with a message for all viewers, highlighting Trump's recent comments and tweets about the four freshman congresswomen.
No matter what the president says, this country belongs to you. And it belongs to everyone. And today that notion, that very notion was challenged. This weekend, that very notion was challenged ... I am not surprised he uses the rhetoric that he does when he violates international human rights and takes thousands of children away from their families.
At the end of her speech, she added some uplifting words, saying:
I also know that we're focused on making it better, because we don't leave the things that we love. And when we love this country, what that means is that we propose the solutions to fix it.
Some on Twitter celebrated Ocasio-Cortez' comments. Author and scholar @sarahkendzior wrote that Ocasio-Cortez' speech represented the qualities Americans need in leaders now. Another Twitter user, writer @tonykchoi, wrote, "I hope young girls of color everywhere see this and feel a sense of ownership as well."
This isn't the first response Ocasio-Cortez has had for Trump in recent days. After his comments telling the congresswomen to "go back" were met with criticism and accusations of racism, Trump tweeted on July 16, "Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!," to which Ocasio-Cortez responded, "You’re right, Mr. President - you don’t have a racist bone in your body. You have a racist mind in your head, and a racist heart in your chest." Omar, Tlaib, and Pressley have all also responded to the president's comments.
Seeing as Trump has tweeted about the four congresswomen several times between July 14 and July 16, there's no way to know if he plans to stop singling them out on his Twitter any time soon. It seems though that no matter what he negative or harmful things he says though, "the squad" is ready for it.