/Timeline of the chaotic series of events surrounding Trump’s racist tweets attacking ‘the Squad’

Timeline of the chaotic series of events surrounding Trump’s racist tweets attacking ‘the Squad’

Timeline of events surrounding Trump’s racist tweets at ‘the Squad’ – Business Insider<br />

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar, and the crowd responded with
U.S. President Trump speaks about U.S. Representative Omar at campaign rally in Greenville


  • President Donald Trump’s racist tweets directed at four progressive Democrats, who are women of color, have ignited a firestorm of criticism.
  • But the tweets didn’t occur in a vacuum. It was the president’s commentary on a battle between the progressive Democrats and the Democratic leadership.
  • Trump’s tweets, his subsequent response, and a controversial, xenophobic chant that occurred at one of his rallies on July 17 are a sign of what’s to come along the 2020 campaign trail.
  • Here’s a timeline of the chaotic series of events surrounding Trump’s tweets.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Trump on July 14 sent out a series of racist tweets directed at four progressive Democratic members of Congress who are women of color. The president suggested they “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested” countries from which they came.

President Donald Trump calls to the media as he waits to greet Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte as he arrives at the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Associated Press

The four lawmakers are Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. Three out of four of the lawmakers were born in the US and all are US citizens. Omar was born in Somalia, came to the US as refugee when she was a child, and became a US citizen at 17.

From left, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images

Trump’s tweets at the four lawmakers, who’ve become known as “the Squad” on Capitol Hill, played off of the racist “go back to Africa” trope.

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, July 18, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Associated Press

Trump’s tweets also alluded to Democratic infighting that’s occurred between “the Squad” and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in recent weeks: “I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”

Rep. Ilhan Omar and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images

The fight between Pelosi and the freshman Democrats largely began in late June after she accepted a Senate version of a nearly $4.6 billion emergency border aid funding bill. The progressive lawmakers felt it didn’t go far enough in terms of addressing conditions in detention centers being used by the federal government to house migrants. Ocasio-Cortez has referred to these facilities as “concentration camps.”

Overcrowding of families observed by OIG on June 10, 2019, at Border Patrol’s McAllen, TX, Station

DHS Office of the Inspector General

“What we did today is continue to allow the atrocity to take place,” Omar said after the bill went through. “We’ve sent money that we don’t know if it’s going to continue to be used to put proper beds, to buy toothpaste, to assist these children in any kind of way and their families.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., conducts a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center responding to negative comments by President Trump that were directed at the freshmen House Democrats on Monday, July 15, 2019.

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti sent a tweet attacking moderate Democrats over the emergency aid bill after it passed. “I don’t think people have to be personally racist to enable a racist system,” Chakrabarti wrote. “And the same could even be said of the Southern Democrats. I don’t believe [Rep. Sharice Davids] is a racist person, but her votes are showing her to enable a racist system.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images

Subsequently, in an early July interview with The New York Times, Pelosi went after Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib, and Pressley. “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world. But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks to the news media during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S.


Chakrabarti then took to Twitter and slammed Pelosi. “All these articles want to claim what a legislative mastermind Pelosi is, but I’m seeing way more strategic smarts from freshman members,” Chakrabarti tweeted on July 6 in reference to the speaker’s comments. “Pelosi is just mad that she got outmaneuvered (again) by Republicans.”

From left, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., appear for a Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony honoring the Office of Strategic Services in Emancipation Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 21, 2018.

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Not longer after, on July 8, Ocasio-Cortez pushed back on the notion she shouldn’t speak out against Pelosi in public: “Having respect for ourselves doesn’t mean we lack respect for her. It means we won’t let everyday people be dismissed.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) greets Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) before a ceremonial swearing-in picture on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 3, 2019.

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

The House Speaker then scolded Democrats at a caucus meeting, telling them to come to her instead of tweeting complaints: “You got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it,” Pelosi reportedly said at the Wednesday caucus meeting. “But do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just ok.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images

But the feud escalated significantly last week, when the official Twitter account for the House Democrats went after Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff for the tweet he’d sent going after moderate members of the party in late June, after the emergency border aid funding bill spat. The tweet said, “Who is this guy and why is he explicitly singling out a Native American woman of color? Her name is Congresswoman Davids, not Sharice. She is a phenomenal new member who flipped a red seat blue. Keep Her Name Out Of Your Mouth.”

Saikat Chakrabarti, chief of staff for Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Jonathan Bachman/Reuters

Trump’s racist tweets attacking the progressive lawmakers were posted on Sunday, July 14. In an effort to rile up his base and further divide Democrats, the president appeared to be inserting himself in the ongoing battle between Pelosi and “the Squad.”

President Donald Trump speaks during a ceremony where Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will present a 48-star flag flown on a U.S. Naval vessel during the D-Day invasion, in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, July 18, 2019, in Washington. The flag will be given to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The vessel was control vessel Landing Craft, Control 60 (LCC 60). (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Associated Press

Trump on Monday said he was not concerned that the tweets were being characterized as racist, because he said “many people agree with me.” Meanwhile, a poll conducted after Trump’s tweets found his approval had gone up with Republicans.

President Donald Trump answers questions from the media during the “3rd Annual Made in America Product Showcase” on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 15, 2019.

Leah Millis/Reuters

“The Squad,” at a press conference on Monday, ripped into Trump over his tweets and reiterated calls for launching impeachment proceedings against him. “He does not know how to defend his policies so what he does is attack us personally,” Ocasio-Cortez said of Trump.

From L to R: Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Trump on Tuesday rejected that his tweets were racist and said he doesn’t have a “racist bone” in his body. Ocasio-Cortez responded in a tweet that said, “You’re right, Mr. President — you don’t have a racist bone in your body. You have a racist mind in your head, and a racist heart in your chest.”

President Donald Trump gestures to the crowd as he arrives to speak at a campaign rally at Williams Arena in Greenville, N.C., Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Associated Press

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Tuesday added fuel to the fire when she asked a reporter “what’s your ethnicity?” in response to questions about Trump’s racist tweets.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway speaks to members of the news media after giving an interview to Fox News at the White House in Washington, DC, on July 16, 2019.

Leah Millis/Reuters

The House on Tuesday passed a resolution condemning Trump over the tweets. Every single Democrat voted in favor of the resolution, with just four Republicans joining them.

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., a target of racist rhetoric from President Donald Trump, responds to cheers from visitors at the Capitol seeking a raise in the minimum wage, as she leaves the chamber following votes, in Washington, Thursday, July 18, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Associated Press

Before the resolution passed, Pelosi sparked a fierce debate on the House floor over using the word “racist” to describe Trump’s tweets. There are strict rules over the language lawmakers are permitted to use on the floor. Her words were ruled out of order, which led to a vote on whether to strike them from the record. The vote failed.

U.S. House Speaker Pelosi speaks to reporters as she walks to her office at the U.S. Capitol in Washington


The debate surrounding whether Pelosi’s word choice was so heated that Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, who was presiding over the House floor, tossed his gavel and declared, “I abandon the chair.”

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

At a rally for his 2020 re-election campaign on Wednesday in North Carolina, Trump continued his attacks on Omar, which prompted his supporters to echo his racist tweets as they chanted, “send her back!” Trump did not rebuke the chants at the time. He paused for 13 seconds before speaking again.

US President Donald Trump speaks at a “Make America Great Again” rally at Minges Coliseum in Greenville, North Carolina, on July 17, 2019.


Trump on Thursday disavowed the “send her back” chants, stating he wasn’t “happy” about them. The president also falsely claimed he attempted to stop the chants, though video shows that’s not true.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters after arriving at Pitt-Greenville Airport in Greenville


It didn’t take long for Trump to reverse his position. On Friday, he praised the supporters who were at his Wednesday rally: “Those people in North Carolina … that stadium was packed, it was a record crowd. And I could have filled it 10 times, as you know,” Trump said. “Those are incredible people. Those are incredible patriots.”

People in the audience cheer as President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Williams Arena in Greenville, N.C., Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Associated Press


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Donald Trump
Nancy Pelosi

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