GOP Rep. Insists Trump Was Probably Just Talking About Congresswomen’s Districts

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) questions Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on April 3, 2019. (Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images)

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) insisted on Monday that President Donald Trump’s racist tirade about “progressive congresswomen” going back to where they came from was, in fact, not racist.

During a radio interview on WBAL NewsNow, host Bryan Nehman asked Harris if he believed Trump’s rant about the congresswomen was racist.

“No, they’re not. They’re obviously not racist,” Harris said. “But again, when anyone disagrees with someone now, you call them a racist and this is no exception.”

“Why’s it not racist when you say ‘Go back to where you came from’ when they’re Americans?” asked Nehman.

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“Look, ask the President what he meant by it but clearly it’s not a racist comment,” the GOP lawmaker replied. “He could’ve meant go back to the district they came from, to the neighborhood they came from.”

Nehman asked incredulously, “Do you really believe he was talking about the district they came from?”

“Absolutely,” Harris said.

Trump’s tweets said explicitly that the congresswomen, largely believed to be about Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world.”

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” he tweeted.

Harris notably had “a discussion” with Holocaust denier Chuck C. Johnson in January, though the congressman claimed he was “unaware” of Johnson’s “previous associations” at the time.

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