President Trump on Thursday sought to distance himself from the “send her back” chant directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) at a Trump reelection rally.
Trump disavows "send her back" chant at his campaign rally pic.twitter.com/4C8CmwNyKU
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) July 18, 2019
“I was not happy with it. I disagree with it,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.
When a reporter asked why he didn’t step in to quell the chant, Trump claimed some credit for doing so. “I think I did. I started speaking very quickly.”
Trump stood silently for a few seconds as the chant went on.
The President on Thursday blamed any delay on the “tremendous amount of noise and action and everything else” in the arena.
For days, Trump has been lobbying racist attacks against Omar and three other congresswoman of color — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA). On Sunday, the President tweeted that they should “go back” to the countries they supposedly came from. All four are U.S. citizens and — with the exception of Omar — were born in the U.S.
A handful of Republicans criticized Trump for allowing the chant to go unchallenged.
Watch the chant at Trump’s rally Wednesday in Greenville, N.C.