President Donald Trump on Monday said he wasn't concerned that his tweets attacking Democratic lawmakers had been condemned as racist.
"It doesn't concern me, because many people agree with me," Trump said.
In tweets the day before, Trump said that several "Progressive" Democratic congresswomen should leave the US and "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."
Trump's tweets appeared to be aimed at four women of color: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
The president's tweets played off the "go back to Africa" racist trope.
President Donald Trump on Monday was being decried as racist by Democrats, world leaders, and a small group of Republicans over his Sunday tweets, but he didn't seem particularly concerned.
Asked by a reporter whether he was concerned that "white nationalist groups are finding common cause with you," the president said, "It doesn't concern me, because many people agree with me.
"And all I'm saying: They want to leave, they can leave. Now, it doesn't say leave forever — it says leave if you want," Trump said of his tweets before bragging about the growing economy.
"As far as I'm concerned, if you hate our country, if you're not happy here, you can leave," he said.
He added: "If you're not happy in the US, if you're complaining all the time, very simply: You can leave. You can leave right now."
He later said that "these are people that, in my opinion, hate our country" and that if they did leave the US, there would be "many people that won't miss them."
Trump's tweets on Sunday were aimed at "'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen" who "came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all)."
"Why don't they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came," Trump said.
The tweets appeared to be directed at Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. The lawmakers are US citizens, three of whom were born in the US.
Trump has been widely decried as racist for his tweets that played off the "go back to Africa" racist trope. But most Republicans, including the party's leaders in Congress, have remained silent on the matter.
The president earlier on Monday suggested the lawmakers he attacked were actually the racists.
"If Democrats want to unite around the foul language & racist hatred spewed from the mouths and actions of these very unpopular & unrepresentative Congresswomen, it will be interesting to see how it plays out," Trump tweeted. "I can tell you that they have made Israel feel abandoned by the U.S."
The four lawmakers have heavily criticized the president on an array of issues, especially his immigration policies. Ocasio-Cortez sparked a fierce debate in recent weeks after comparing the facilities the administration uses to detained migrants to "concentration camps."
And Tlaib earlier this year drew Trump's ire when she vowed to "impeach the motherf---er."