Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) on Monday defended President Donald Trump from charges of racism by offering a tortured rationale that is directly contradicted by the president's own words.
During an interview with reporter Bryan Nehman of local Maryland news station WBAL, Harris claimed that Trump telling Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria-Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) to "go back" to the "crime infested places from which they came" was "clearly not racist" because Trump "could have meant go back to the district they came from--to the neighborhood they came from."
In fact, Trump's racist tweets from over the weekend specifically said that the Democratic lawmakers "originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world," despite the fact that three of them were born in the United States and all four of them are American citizens.
Trump's racist comments have drawn universal condemnation from Democrats, but Republicans so far have either ignored the comments or gently suggested the president not make them before proceeding to smear the Democratic lawmakers as people who "hate our own country."
The whole interview with Harris can be heard at this link.