- During a speech at a Turning Point USA conference for conservative high-school students in Washington, DC, on Tuesday,President Donald Trump continued to attack the four female members of Congress known as “the Squad.”
- Trump referred to Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib as a “crazed lunatic,” as he repeated false smears about Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.
- “There is no way she stands for the values of the people of Michigan,” Trump said of Tlaib.
- The crowd of over a thousand teenagers ate up Trump’s words and at one point began chanting, “One squad under God.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump spent a good portion of a roughly 80-minute speech to a group of conservative teenagers continuing his attacks on the four female members of Congress known as “the Squad” as he suggested to their young minds that those who stand against him are un-American.
Speaking at a Turning Point USA conference in the nation’s capital on Tuesday, Trump moved to reassure his young supporters – many of whom are not yet old enough to vote – that they’re on the right side of history. Meanwhile, he characterised those who oppose him as corrosive to the nation’s fundamental values and a danger to its future.
Trump has been relentlessly going after four progressive Democratic members of Congress – Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts – since sending a series of racist tweets about them over a week ago.
The group of lawmakers, who’ve become known as “the Squad” on Capitol Hill, are unabashed critics of Trump who’ve called for his impeachment.
Much of Trump’s focus was directed at Tlaib, whom he described as a “crazed lunatic” early on in his speech. The first mention of Tlaib’s name prompted boos from young conservatives in the crowd, many of whom wore Trump’s signature red “Make America Great Again” hats.
“I watched her this morning. She’s vicious. She’s like a crazed lunatic. She’s screaming, this is before she got into Congress. Who elected her? She’s screaming like a total lunatic at one of our rallies … I’m giving a little rally, and she starts screaming … This is not a sane person, folks … And this is what we’re up against,” Trump said, citing a time Tlaib protested him at one of his 2016 rallies before she became a member of Congress.
“There is no way she stands for the values of the people of Michigan,” Trump said of Tlaib.
Tlaib, who was a Michigan state legislator before she went on to Congress, was kicked out of the Trump rally she demonstrated at in 2016. In an op-ed, Tlaib defended her decision to protest Trump, citing his rhetoric toward Muslims, immigrants, and women.
“I have heard critics calling it unbecoming of a former state legislator,” she wrote in the Detroit Free Press. “Well, I believe it is unbecoming of any American to not stand up to Trump’s hate-filled rhetoric and tactics.”
As he continued his attacks on “the Squad” during his speech, Trump also zeroed in on Ocasio-Cortez and seemed to give the group a new nickname.
“I call it ‘AOC Plus 3.’ AOC Plus 3. Not that AOC is a bargain, ’cause she’s not. She’s no bargain. Look, we’ll go into it at some point. I’ll tell you all about AOC. I got more on AOC,” Trump said.
"I call it 'AOC Plus 3.' AOC Plus 3. Not that AOC is a bargain, 'cause she's not. She's no bargain. Look, we'll go into it at some point. I'll tell you all about AOC. I got more on AOC."
President Trump attacks Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at Turning Point USA Summit. pic.twitter.com/FRk4ZG8FTA
— The Hill (@thehill) July 23, 2019
The president reiterated his claim that this group hates the US and described their politics as an assault on America’s “heritage.”
“The radical left has nothing but contempt for our heritage … They see our history as a source of shame,” Trump said.
As he continued, Trump also went after Omar and said he would win in Minnesota in 2020 because of her, echoing a tweet he sent earlier in the day.
In his speech, Trump also repeated smears against Ocasio-Cortez and Omar, erroneously saying the New York lawmaker called the US “garbage” while also falsely accusing the Minnesota lawmaker of talking about “evil Jews.”
Before Trump took the stage, the crowd was treated to a nearly 11-minute video that recapped the president’s 2016 campaign and election victory. The audience – largely made up of teenagers – cheered loudly as the video showed moments like Trump threatening to throw former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in jail during an October 2016 debate.
Trump walked out onto the stage to “God Bless the USA,” which offered a preview of the overall theme of his speech: Conservatives are godly and love America, and the left hates it.
“In America we don’t worship government, we worship God,” Trump said midspeech, which led to an eruption of applause.
At one point during Trump’s remarks, the young members of the audience began chanting, “One squad under God.”
“We believe that every young American should love our country … and always respect our great American flag,” Trump said to the crowd fairly early on in the speech. “Isn’t it terrible when they try to take your heritage away from you?”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.