President Trump offered an unexpected defense of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi amid a new wave of criticism from freshmen members of her own party who have accused her of acting in a racist manner.
ABC News reports the accusation initially came from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who accused Pelosi of “singling out” her freshmen colleagues—all women of color—including, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley. Ocasio-Cortez said Pelosi’s behavior was unfair and accused her of attempting to silence these minority members.
Speaking to a group of reporters outside of the White House, Trump said Pelosi was “not a racist” and was deserving of more respect than what these members, specifically naming Ocasio-Cortez, were giving her.
“I think Cortez, who kept Amazon out of New York and they don’t like her for that—thousands and thousands of jobs—I think Cortez is being very disrespectful to somebody who has been there a long time,” Trump said.
“I deal with Nancy Pelosi a lot,” the president continued. “And we go back and forth and it’s fine. But, I think that a group of people [in Congress] is being very disrespectful to her. And, you know what, I don’t think Nancy can let that go on.”
“I’m looking at this Omar from Minnesota,” Trump said, speaking of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a close-knit colleague of Ocasio-Cortez’s. “If one-half of the things they’re saying about her are true, she shouldn’t even be in office,” he contended.
“Cortez should treat Nancy Pelosi with respect,” Trump said. “She should not be doing what she is doing.”
“And, I’ll tell you something about Nancy Pelosi,” he added, “that you know better than I do. She is not a racist.”
“She is not a racist,” Trump echoed. “For them to call her a racist is a disgrace.”
"If one-half of the things they're saying about her are true, she shouldn't even be in office," Pres. Trump said of Rep. Ilhan Omar this morning.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 12, 2019