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Trump defenders argued his latest tweets weren’t really racist — but he just completely undercut their arguments

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Donald Trump in coal hard hat thumbs up

If you try to defend President Donald Trump, you will always end up having the rug pulled out from underneath you. It’s a law of nature.

And yet, so many of the president’s allies have failed to learn this simple lesson. So when Trump launched a new attack at progressive Democratic lawmakers that was one of his most obviously racist smears, inevitably, some of his defenders tried to deny the obvious truth.

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His screed attacked a group of women who have come to define the left wing of the Democratic caucus, which includes Reps. Ilhan Omar (MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Rashida Talib (MI), and Ayanna Pressley (MA). Though only Omar is an immigrant (she was a refugee from Somalia as a child), Trump seemed to assume all four women of color weren’t born in the United States, and most egregiously, he suggested they should “go back” to other countries:

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Matt Wolking, a deputy director of communications for the president’s re-election campaign, was one of the first to defend the president, by bizarrely claiming he didn’t say what he said.

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Of course, saying “go back to your country and then come back” includes the statement “go back to your country,” so his statement was absurd on its face. To read the argument as generously as possible, though, Woking might have been trying to argue that Trump’s statement couldn’t echo to the racist trope of white Americans telling minorities to “go back to their country,” because that trope doesn’t usually include an invitation to return. However, even this argument is clearly nonsense, because there’s no reason Trump’s claim that the congresswomen should “help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” and then “come back and show us how it is done” should be seen as anything but disingenuous. First of all, most of the women that he’s clearly referring to were born in the United States, so there’s nowhere for them to “go back” to. They are fighting to improve the only country they’ve lived in. Second, even telling someone like Omar, a refugee, that she owes more allegiance to “fix” the country her family fled as a child is still patently racist. And the idea that we should take Trump seriously when he says he would want to learn from Omar if she were able to “fix” Somalia’s problems is so ridiculous that Wolking should be ashamed to ever speak publicly about politics ever again.

But even more humiliating for Wolking is that on Monday, Trump decided to undermine even this tissue paper-thin defense of Trump’s tweets. He made it clear that “then come back” part of the message was a complete throwaway line — the point was that he thinks these critics of his should leave because he questions their patriotism.

“These are people that hate our country,” Trump said at the White House. “They hate our country. They hate it, I think, with a passion.”

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He continued: “If somebody has a problem with our country, if somebody doesn’t want to be in our country, they should leave.”

He also tweeted:

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The line “it is your choice, and your choice alone,” may have been an attempt to soften the statement, but obviously, any free American citizen has the right to leave or stay in the country if they want. The message he is sending, however, that when people of color challenge him and criticize his administration or white supremacy, that he thinks they don’t belong in the country anymore. (And of course, this is completely hypocritical, as Trump has been extremely critical of the United States in recent years. In 2015, he literally published a book called “Crippled America” — and yet no one thought the fact that he had criticisms of the country meant he should find somewhere else to live.)

And CNN’s Jake Tapper pointed out that Trump’s new comments also undercut the defense from Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD). Harris said Trump’s tweets were “clearly not racist” and the congresswomen to “go back to the district they came from — to the neighborhood they came from.”

Of course, Trump’s original tweets and his doubling down on the remarks make it clear that this isn’t at all what Trump meant.

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Trump’s claim impeachment ‘nullifies’ 2016 election blown up in new House Judiciary Committee report

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On Saturday, the House Judiciary Committee released their report outlining the offenses committed by President Donald Trump, and the legal framework for impeachment — which clears the way for Congress to write and approve articles of impeachment against him.

One of the key issues examined by the report is the claim, repeatedly made by the president and his supporters, that impeachment would "nullify" the 2016 presidential election and the popular will — which is already a weak claim given that Trump never won the popular vote, and that impeaching Trump would still install Mike Pence as president. But the report more broadly rejects the entire claim that an election result immunizes a president from punishment for official misconduct.

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READ IT: House Judiciary Committee releases report defining Trump impeachable offenses

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On Saturday, the House Judiciary Committee released a report outlining the impeachable acts committed by President Donald Trump.

"Our President holds the ultimate public trust," said the report, titled "Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment," in its introduction. "A President faithful only to himself—who will sell out democracy and national security for his own personal advantage—is a danger to every American. Indeed, he threatens America itself."

The report clarifies the procedures for impeachment, analyzes whether president can be "impeached for abuse of executive powers," and "whether it is preferable to await the next election when a President has sought to corrupt that very same election."

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Trump hammered by ex-intel officials for sucking up to the Saudis after Florida naval base shooting

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President Donald Trump is taking heat from former U.S. intelligence officials for taking a very soft tone with the Saudi government after Friday’s shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida.

Not long after the shooter was identified as a second lieutenant in the Saudi Arabian military, the president tweeted out words of sympathy from the Saudi king after a phonecall, writing, "The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people."

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