Ayanna Pressley: I Will Always Call Trump ‘Occupant of the White House,’ Not President

From left, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., respond to remarks by President Donald Trump after his call for the four Democratic congresswomen to go back to their "broken" countries, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, …
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Speaking Monday at a press conference on Capitol Hill, progressive freshman Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) referred to President Donald Trump as the “occupant of the White House.”

“I want to send a message of gratitude and thanks to the solidarity that we have received from every corner of our country, from our colleagues to our neighbors, we are grateful for your solidarity, your encouragement and your support in the face of the most recent xenophobic, bigoted remarks from the occupant of our White House,” Pressley said with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) by her side.

“I will always refer to him as the occupant as he is only occupying space. It does not embody the grace, the empathy, the compassion, the integrity that that office requires and that the American people deserve,” she added.

Pressley’s remarks came after President Trump tripled down in challenging the four far-left lawmakers to leave the United States, citing their repeated attacks on the country.

“If you’re not happy here, then you can leave,” the president said at the White House earlier Monday. “As far as I’m concerned, if you hate our country, if you’re not happy here, you can leave.”

“But if you’re happy in the U.S., if you’re complaining all the time, very simply you can leave, you can leave right now. Come back if you want, don’t come back, that’s okay too. But if you’re not happy, you can leave,” he added.

On Sunday, President Trump seemingly referred to the group of  “‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen” without naming names, urging them to return to the countries where they “came from” whose governments he described as a “complete and total catastrophe” instead of “loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States” how the government should be run. Of the self-described “Squad,” all four are U.S. citizens and only Omar was born in another country.

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done,” he wrote. “These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”

 

Earlier Monday, Pressley refused to condemn the recent attack on an ICE detention facility in Tacoma, Washington.

Following Pressley’s remarks, Omar took to the podium, where she called the president’s comments “blatantly racist” and said they were similar to words white nationalists would utter.

“To distract from that, he’s launching a blatantly racist attack on four elected members of the United States House of Representatives, all of whom are women of color,” said the Minnesota Democrat. “This is the agenda of white nationalists, whether it is happening in chat rooms or it’s happening on national TV. And now it’s reached the White House garden.”

She concluded her statement by calling for the president’s impeachment.

The UPI contributed to this report. 

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