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Pence’s deputy press secretary makes mind-boggling argument that Elaine Chao is a better immigrant than Ilhan Omar

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During a “Make America Great Again” rally in North Carolina on Wednesday night, President Donald Trump doubled down on his racist assertion that four congresswomen of color should leave the United States and reiterated his disdain for Somali-born Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota while the crowd chanted, “Send her back, send her back.” Trump’s critics have been pointing out that prominent Republicans such as First Lady Melania Trump and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao are immigrants — and Vice President Mike Pence’s deputy press secretary, Darin Miller, is responding with a mind-boggling claim that Chao is a good immigrant while Omar is not.

Mother Jones’ Matt Cohen is reporting that he received an e-mail from Miller stating that while Chao (who is originally from Mainland China and is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell) “worked hard and assimilated” after coming to the United States, Omar “seems content to criticize America at every turn.”

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Miller, according to Cohen, wrote to the Mother Jones reporter to explain that he believed he misconstrued comments that Marc Short, Pence’s chief of staff, made during a Fox News appearance on Monday. Short, defending Trump, insisted that the president can’t have “racist motives” because he appointed a Chinese immigrant to an important position in his administration.

Over the weekend, Trump set off a major controversy when he tweeted that Omar and three other Democratic women of color in the House of Representatives (Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City, Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan) should “go back to” the countries “from which they came.” But except for Omar, all four congresswomen were born in the U.S. and are lifelong U.S. citizens — and although Omar is originally from Somalia, she has been a naturalized U.S. citizen since 2000.

Cohen, in his article, explains that most Republicans have “remained silent” about Trump’s racist tweets while “a few have joined Democrats in officially condemning” them and other Republicans “have committed wild jumps in logic to claim his tweets weren’t racist — and Short’s comment about Chao fit into the latter category. That’s why I included them in a collection of responses to Trump’s tweets.”

But Miller, Cohen adds, “didn’t agree” and “insisted that Chao is a different kind of immigrant than Omar.”

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In his e-mail to Cohen, Miller exalted Chao as “an example of what the president supports: she came legally to the U.S., worked hard and assimilated and is dedicated to giving back and serving her country. And we can all support that. Contrast that with Rep. Omar, who seems content to criticize America at every turn, instead of trying to fix problems she sees. For instance, she opposed the overwhelmingly bipartisan emergency border aid bill, which provided much-needed humanitarian aid for asylum seekers.”

Cohen views Miller’s Chao/Omar comparison as nonsense, writing, “The truth is there isn’t a meaningful difference between Chao and Omar’s immigration stories. Like Chao, Omar immigrated legally to the country and now serves in the federal government, albeit with a different agenda. Omar, along with many other of her Democratic colleagues, didn’t vote for the border bill due to policy disagreements.”

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On Tuesday night, the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning Trump’s racist attack on the four congresswomen; only four Republicans voted in favor of the resolution, and they were joined by Michigan Rep. Justin Amash (an anti-Trump conservative who is calling for the president’s impeachment and recently left the GOP).

 

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Scaramucci busts White House staffers who ‘hate Trump’s guts’ yet still work for a ‘full-blown lunatic’

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On MSNBC's "AM Joy" on Saturday, former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci acknowledged his own faults in supporting President Donald Trump for as long as he did — but urged that his experience has shown him that many more could be pulled out of the fold, if given an accepting opening to do so.

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I wasn’t surprised by Donald Trump’s rage-tweet attack on Reps. Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, any more than I was surprised by the maturity and sobriety of their response. After all, Trump’s racism is legendary, and telling them to “go back where you came from” is not just textbook racism, it’s a schoolyard bully’s taunt. And a racist schoolyard bully is the sum and substance of what Trump is.

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