Donald Trump began the week embroiled in a racism row after attempting to exploit divisions among the opposition by telling young progressive congresswomen like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”, demanding an apology from the victims in his latest round of tweets.
Despite boasting of a 94 per cent approval rating among Republicans, the president found himself lagging behind Democratic 2020 challengers Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in a new poll conducted for NBC News/Wall Street Journal.
As Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents began mass deportations raids on at least 10 American cities, Mr Trump also hit out at media coverage of vice president Mike Pence's visit to a border detention centre in McAllen, Texas, on Friday, insisting the facility in question was “well run and clean” despite evidence to the contrary.
During a press conference, Ms Ocasio-Cortez, Ms Omar, and their colleagues Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib all denounced the president's attacks on them, which he doubled down on Monday afternoon at the White House.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez, finishing up her remarks, called the president "weak", and said he focuses on personal attacks because he cannot debate issues.
"Weak minds and leaders challenge loyalty to our country in order to avoid challenging and debating the policy," Ms Ocasio-Cortez said.
"This president does not know how to defend his policies, so what he does is he attacks us personally, and that is what it is all about. He cant look a child in the face and he can't look Americans in the face and justify why this country is throwing them into cages," she continued.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives announced it would hold a vote to condemn Mr Trump's "xenophobic" remarks.
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