Four congresswomen targeted in a series of racist attacks by Donald Trump, have urged Americans "not to take the bait", saying the president would "love nothing more than to divide the country".
In an impassioned appearance on Capitol Hill just hours after the president had used a White House press conference to double down on his attacks, the four Democrats - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib - claimed Mr Trump remarks were a distraction from more important issues. All are women of colour.
“He does not embody the grace, the empathy, the compassion, the integrity that that office requires and that the American people deserve,” said Ms Pressley, who was elected to congress last year from Massachusetts.
“That being said, I encourage the American people and all of us in this room and beyond to not take the bait. This is a disruptive distraction from the issues of care, concern, and consequence to the American people.”
Mr Omar, who was falsely accused by Mr Trump of being both anti-Semitic and a supporter of Al Qaeda, said the president had adopted the agenda of white nationalists.