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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 98)

Trump’s Policies, Not His Heckling, May Force Fed to Cut Rates

Westlake Legal Group 16DC-FED-facebookJumbo Trump’s Policies, Not His Heckling, May Force Fed to Cut Rates United States Politics and Government United States Economy Trump, Donald J International Trade and World Market Interest Rates Inflation (Economics) Federal Reserve System Customs (Tariff) Banking and Financial Institutions

WASHINGTON — President Trump lacks official power to make the Federal Reserve cut interest rates, but he may have found a way to force its hand: stoking economic uncertainty.

The Fed’s chair, Jerome H. Powell, has signaled that he and his colleagues could cut interest rates at their upcoming meeting as inflation remains stubbornly low and risks, including Mr. Trump’s trade war with China, threaten economic growth. Mr. Powell, speaking in Paris on Tuesday, reiterated that the Fed would act as appropriate to sustain the economic expansion.

Mr. Trump continues to keep the Fed — and the world — on policy tenterhooks, saying at the White House on Tuesday that there was a long way to go to reach a trade deal with China and suggesting he could still impose tariffs on more Chinese goods. The president, speaking during a meeting of his cabinet, also took a swipe at the Fed, saying, “We would have done even better had we had a Federal Reserve that didn’t raise interest rates so quickly.”

Mr. Trump said China was under no such pressure from its central bank, noting that President Xi Jinping was “his own Fed.”

“They’re pumping money into their system, and they’re lowering rates very substantially,” he said.

The White House’s assault on the central bank, underway for about a year now, is unlikely to directly influence Fed policy. But by roiling trade tensions, Mr. Trump is continuing to throw uncertainty into a global economy that is already struggling with weakened demand from China and a slowdown in manufacturing.

That, rather than his badgering, could force the Fed’s hand, helping to lock in a rate cut at its meeting on July 30 and 31.

Uncertainties about the economic outlook “have increased, however, particularly regarding trade developments and global growth,” Mr. Powell said in prepared remarks delivered in France, also emphasizing risks including the debt ceiling.

“We are carefully monitoring these developments and assessing their implications for the U.S. economic outlook and inflation, and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion,” he said.

An interest-rate cut now could seem unusual, because unemployment is at a nearly 50-year low, growth is holding up and the stock market has recently touched record highs. While Mr. Trump regularly celebrates that economic progress, his trade policies could crimp the expansion.

The Trump administration has already placed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods, and is threatening to impose them on another $300 billion of goods — practically all remaining imports from China — if the country does not meet America’s demands. Mr. Trump has also threatened auto tariffs on Europe and Japan, a move that would hit German carmakers particularly hard.

Cutting rates could provide an economic backstop and signal that central bankers are ready and willing to act should geopolitical risks escalate or persist, causing economic data to further sour. Because policy works at a lag, moving early and pre-emptively could offer perks.

“Trade uncertainties have helped to contribute to global growth deceleration,” Robert S. Kaplan, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said in Washington on Tuesday, noting that many large American companies do business overseas and will suffer as a result. “We are not immune to spillovers from decelerating global growth.”

Mr. Kaplan has not made up his mind over whether a rate cut is needed, though he is “open” to discussing one. He said that if the Fed made a move, it should be “tactical” and “limited.”

Charles L. Evans, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, said at a CNBC event on Tuesday that “on the basis of inflation alone, I could feel confident in arguing for a couple of rate cuts before the end of the year.”

The accumulating risks come as inflation is already well below the Fed’s 2 percent goal. The central bank aims for low but steady price gains, which guard against economy-harming deflation and give companies headroom to raise wages.

Fed officials have “raised concerns about a more prolonged shortfall in inflation below our 2 percent target,” Mr. Powell said on Tuesday.

Investors fully expect the Fed to cut rates at their July meeting, based on pricing in federal funds futures markets. The central bank’s pre-meeting quiet period starts Saturday, so their chances to change that perception are increasingly limited.

Mr. Powell also addressed the importance of shoring up trust in central banks at a time when “our audience has become more varied, more attuned to our actions and less trusting of public institutions.”

He said such trends meant that central bankers “must speak to Main Street, as well as Wall Street, in ways we have not in the past, and Main Street is listening and engaged.”

In Washington, his colleague Mr. Kaplan underlined the importance of central bank independence, saying that it allows monetary policymakers to ensure low unemployment and stable prices in the longer term — preventing short-term thinking that sacrifices comfort down the road for stronger growth today.

“A sign of a successful economy has been an independent central bank,” Mr. Kaplan said. “Independence has to be earned: It means you have to be susceptible to transparency, oversight.”

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5% of Congress Was Born Abroad. Those Members Show What It Means to Be American.

WASHINGTON — When President Trump suggested foreign-born Americans should “go back” to the countries they were born in, he may not have realized that his entreaty could clear out five percent of Congress.

In all, 29 members of the House and Senate were born abroad, about half of them to parents serving in the military or working overseas. Republicans like Representatives Mark Meadows of North Carolina, born in an Army hospital in France, and David Rouzer, also of North Carolina and born in an Army hospital in West Germany, mostly stood by the president, who aimed his remarks at four progressive House Democratic women of color, only one of whom was born outside the United States.

“No, I don’t think it’s racist,” Mr. Rouzer said.

But to others, Mr. Trump’s words — which he repeated on Tuesday — hit home in a deeply personal way. Their feelings will be reflected in the resolution the House takes up Tuesday condemning Mr. Trump. Immigrant Democrats will lead the effort on the House floor.

“I first took the oath to support and defend the Constitution when I was 10 years old,” said Representative Tom Malinowski, who was born in Poland and came here when he was six, after his mother met an American journalist. “That’s meant a lot to me all my life.”

Mr. Trump’s “go back” remarks have long been a thread through the fabric of the United States, a nation founded by people who came from somewhere else. In every era, in every generation, and particularly in times of economic anxiety, notions of “the other” have seeped into the American psyche. But no modern president — not even Franklin D. Roosevelt, who ordered the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II — has made such aggressive use of his platform to whip up a fervor about foreigners.

That is making even some Republicans uncomfortable.

Representative Daniel Crenshaw, a freshman Republican from Texas, expressed unease with Mr. Trump’s comments. The former Navy SEAL was born to American parents in Scotland, where his father worked in the oil industry, and also spent part of his childhood in Ecuador and Colombia.

“I don’t agree with the president’s remarks, but that doesn’t mean I accept the rhetoric we hear repeatedly from this group of lawmakers either,” he said in an emailed statement. “As someone who sacrificed for our country and buried too many friends, I find the constantly negative, anti-American comments concerning and tiresome.”

There are 14 members of Congress — all Democrats, 13 in the House and one in the Senate — who became citizens after emigrating to the United States, either through naturalization or a parent’s citizenship. They come from countries like India, Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, Vietnam and Taiwan.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_152075637_77ee2f96-5862-49a4-a56e-aff20b11507c-articleLarge 5% of Congress Was Born Abroad. Those Members Show What It Means to Be American. United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J tlaib, rashida Race and Ethnicity Omar, Ilhan Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria Immigration and Emigration Citizenship and Naturalization

Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina, who was born in an Army hospital in France, said President Trump is “not racist.”CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

Senator Mazie K. Hirono, Democrat of Hawaii, is a naturalized citizen, born in Japan; her mother came to this country fleeing an abusive husband, she said. Representative Jesús “Chuy” García, is a naturalized citizen from Mexico. Representative Adriano Espaillat, Democrat of New York, is a naturalized citizen, born in the Dominican Republic.

“I dream American. I wake up American. I have dinner as an American,” Mr. Espaillat said. “I am a Yankee fan and I love this country. It’s given me a great number of opportunities, including to be a member of Congress. For him to downgrade or even not take into consideration the kind of opportunities that this country gives these folks from all over the world, I think is sad and tragic.”

Far from making them less American, many foreign-born members of Congress said their experiences as children abroad made them far more appreciative of the freedom and opportunity in America than others who have spent little time in countries that lack such gifts.

“I grew up in Latin America at a time when most of the countries were under military dictatorship and soldiers were on corners with machine guns,” said Representative Jim Himes, Democrat of Connecticut, who was born in Peru. “I think having spent the first 10 years of my life in environments like that has given me an unbelievable appreciation for the freedoms and liberties that we have here.” He said Mr. Trump “just shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the United States.”

Some white lawmakers born abroad saw a distinctly racial tinge to Mr. Trump’s singling out of women of color.

“My father got back from the Vietnam War, went to graduate school, and when he and my mom were young newlyweds, got a job outside of Dublin on a cattle feed lot,” said Representative Sean Casten, Democrat of Illinois. “They went over there, lived there for four years, I was born halfway through. No one ever called me an anchor baby.”

One of the 29, Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, was born in Canada to an American mother and Cuban father, and is thus considered a “natural born citizen” — a status Mr. Trump questioned during the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, when he suggested that Mr. Cruz “could be tied up in court for two years” if he became the party’s nominee.

At the time, Mr. Cruz brushed it off, saying on Twitter that Mr. Trump had “jumped the shark.” On Monday, many of his Republican colleagues were searching for just the right words to describe what Mr. Trump had said; Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the Senate’s only black Republican, settled on “racially offensive.”

Mr. Cruz was not searching for words. He was zipping toward the senators-only elevator, head down, to avoid questions about it. “I have a longstanding policy that I don’t comment on tweets,” he said, moments before the elevator doors closed.

Mr. Cruz, of course, was not the first politician to have his citizenship questioned by Mr. Trump. Long before he ran for president, Mr. Trump stoked the so-called birther movement to pressure President Barack Obama to prove that he was actually born in the United States and not in Kenya, the birthplace of his father.

“This is the agenda of white nationalists, whether it is happening in chat rooms, or it is happening on national TV, and now it’s reached the White House garden,” said Representative Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, of Mr. Trump’s tweets.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

This time, Mr. Trump’s comments were directed at the group of Democratic freshmen known on Capitol Hill as “the Squad”: Representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts. All have been deeply critical of him. On Tuesday, he misleadingly suggested they have extremely low poll numbers — an apparent reference to a recent survey of white voters with two years or less of college education, a key component of the president’s base.

Get a list of the HORRIBLE things they have said,” Mr. Trump shouted on Twitter.

Only one of the four, Ms. Omar, was born overseas; she fled war-torn Somalia with her family and spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya before coming to the United States with her family when she was 12. In an interview in December, she told of how she fended off bullies in school who stuck gum on her scarf, knocked her down stairs and jumped her when she changed clothes for gym class.

On Monday, Ms. Omar fought back. “He’s launching a blatantly racist attack on four duly elected members of the United States House of Representatives, all of whom are women of color,” she said. “This is the agenda of white nationalists, whether it is happening in chat rooms, or it is happening on national TV, and now it’s reached the White House garden.”

Mr. Meadows, one of the president’s closest allies on Capitol Hill, pushed back, saying the real fight was over the president’s policies on the border, which Ms. Omar and the others vociferously oppose.

“He’s not racist,” Mr. Meadows said. “I probably talk to him more than anybody else, and he’s certainly not a racist.”

Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, Democrat of Illinois, came to the United States when he was three months old. His father moved to Buffalo to study engineering, and his family lived in public housing and on food stamps before they moved to Peoria, Ill., to start, as Mr. Krishnamoorthi put it, “the golden period in our lives.”

“People lifted you up and embraced you, and that’s America, that will always color my image of America,” he said, reflecting on his childhood. But he said racist heckles and taunts grew more prominent as he became an adult, during road rage situations in traffic and the like.

“I’m an ethnic, religious and a racial minority, and I’m an immigrant,” he said. “When the president says what he says, it hits home in a bigger way.”

Other immigrant lawmakers — at least the Democrats — said Mr. Trump is assailing the very idea of what it means to be an American, among them Representative Raul Ruiz, a doctor and California Democrat who was born in Mexico and is the first Latino to earn three graduate degrees from Harvard University.

“Being American is not defined by color of skin or eyes or hair or any accent,” he said. “Being American is defined by our ideas, by our diversity and by the land that we call home.”

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Facebook Cryptocurrency Plans Have a Problem: Facebook’s Reputation

Westlake Legal Group 16libra-facebookJumbo Facebook Cryptocurrency Plans Have a Problem: Facebook’s Reputation Zuckerberg, Mark E Virtual Currency United States Politics and Government United States Trump, Donald J Stocks and Bonds Social Media Senate Committee on Banking Securities and Exchange Commission Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Powell, Jerome H PayPal Money Laundering Mnuchin, Steven T Marcus, David A Libra (Currency) House Financial Services Committee Federal Trade Commission Federal Reserve System Facebook Inc E-Commerce Consumer Protection Computers and the Internet Brown, Sherrod Bitcoin (Currency) Banking and Financial Institutions

Lawmakers made it clear at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday that they believe the biggest roadblock to Facebook’s plan to enter the world of cryptocurrency and global finance is the company’s reputation.

Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, Libra, has been in the works for more than a year. It has an ambitious goal: to offer an alternative financial system that makes it possible to send money around the world with few fees.

But almost immediately, the company has run into resistance from Washington.

“Facebook is dangerous,” Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, said at the hearing. “Facebook has said ‘just trust us.’ And every time Americans trust you, they seem to get burned.”

The initiative is far from the first effort of its kind. The best-known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is in wide circulation, and it introduced the idea of digital currencies that are free from government control.

But the Libra effort has put a spotlight on cryptocurrencies and amplified the voices of critics who say the technology has little value beyond speculative investing and illegal transactions, like online drug sales.

When Facebook announced Libra in June, it also faced immediate skepticism from people who are wary of the power the social media company has already accumulated. Within days, regulators in Washington were calling for hearings on Facebook’s plans.

That concern was obvious on Tuesday when members of the committee questioned David Marcus, who leads the company’s cryptocurrency initiative, for more than two hours. Mr. Marcus was asked about a range of Facebook controversies, from lax protection of the private information of its users to Russian disinformation on Facebook’s platforms to claims that is tries to muzzle conservative viewpoints.

“Why in the world should Facebook of all companies do this?” asked Senator Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii. “Maybe before you do a new thing you should make sure you have your own shop fixed.”

Mr. Marcus, adopting a conciliatory tone, said the company would do its best to fight fraud and to earn back the trust of the more than two billion people who use Facebook’s services regularly.

“We’ve made mistakes in the past,” Mr. Marcus said. “We have been working, and are working hard to get better.”

The Senate session was the first in a day of Capitol Hill hearings involving the technology industry. House lawmakers were set to question multiple tech executives at an afternoon hearing focused on competition issues as part of a broad antitrust inquiry. And Google executives were scheduled to face questions at another hearing on the subject of whether the company censors conservative voices.

Facebook officials will also have to answer more questions about the company’s cryptocurrency plans in a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday.

Some lawmakers and regulators — most notably at the Securities and Exchange Commission — have been raising concerns about the legality and usefulness of cryptocurrencies for some time.

The involvement of Facebook, which has faced an onslaught of controversy over the last two years and is expected to pay a $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, has put a charge into those discussions.

Last week, the chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome H. Powell, said Libra raised “serious concerns” around “money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability.”

“I just think it cannot go forward without there being broad satisfaction with the way the company has addressed money laundering” and other issues, Mr. Powell said as he testified before the House Financial Services Committee. Central bankers from Britain, China, France, Singapore and the European Central Bank have all voiced similar concerns.

President Trump also criticized Libra and Bitcoin, writing on Twitter last week that the digital tokens were “highly volatile and based on thin air.”

And at a news conference on Monday afternoon, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also raised questions about Libra and other cryptocurrencies. Facebook has “a lot of work to do before we get to the point where we’re comfortable with it,” Mr. Mnuchin told reporters.

The issue provides a rare instance when the Trump administration is lining up with Democrats rather than other Republicans. While Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee lashed into Facebook, several Republicans on the committee voiced support for Facebook and its new initiative.

“I just think we should be exploring this and considering the benefits as well as the risks,” said Patrick Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania. “To announce in advance that we have to strangle this baby in the crib seems wildly premature.”

But not all Republicans on the committee were so positive.

Martha McSally, a Republican from Arizona, said “I don’t trust you guys.”

And Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, worried that conservatives would not be treated fairly in the Libra system, echoing a frequent Republican talking point about the liberal bias of tech companies.

Mr. Marcus, a former PayPal executive, was handpicked by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, to lead the Libra effort.

Facebook’s role in the project will be run through a subsidiary company called Calibra, led by Mr. Marcus and other top Facebook employees. If the Libra digital token become popular, Calibra could build a business around offering customer financial services, including loans and other actions traditionally offered by the banking industry.

A separate entity called the Libra Association, whose proposed board would include more than a dozen partners in the tech and financial industries, would manage the cryptocurrency system once it is up and running, which Facebook is hoping to do next year.

Mr. Brown asked if there was any amount of opposition that would convince Facebook to scrap Libra.

“Is there anything that elected leaders can say that will convince you and Facebook that it should not launch this currency?” he said.

Mr. Marcus said that the company would not move ahead with the project until the concerns of regulators are answered.

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Trump Rallies G.O.P. to Oppose Resolution Against Racist Language

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Tuesday denied that his tweets suggesting that four minority congresswomen leave the country were racist, imploring House Republicans to reject a resolution set for a vote Tuesday that condemns his statements as “racist comments that have legitimized increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”

On Monday, Mr. Trump told reporters he was not concerned that his comments about the so-called Squad were being heard as racist and embraced by white nationalists. A day later, the president raged on Twitter against the resolution, calling it a “con game.” He renewed his harsh criticism of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

“Those Tweets were NOT Racist,” Mr. Trump wrote. “I don’t have a Racist bone in my body! The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game. Republicans should not show ‘weakness’ and fall into their trap.”

The vote on the resolution, scheduled for Tuesday evening, is developing into a show of unity for Democrats who had been squabbling for weeks — and a test of Republican principles.

In a closed-door meeting of House Democrats on Tuesday morning, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California called the four freshman congresswomen “our sisters,” and said the insults to which Mr. Trump subjected them echo hurtful and offensive remarks he makes every day.

“So this is a resolution based in who we are as a people, as well as a recognition of the unacceptability of what his goals were,” Ms. Pelosi told Democrats, according to an aide present for the private meeting who described her remarks on condition of anonymity. “This is, I hope, one where we will get Republican support. If they can’t support condemning the words of the president, well, that’s a message in and of itself.”

A smattering of Republicans have denounced the president’s performance, including Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. Mr. Trump’s comments “were shameful, they were racist,” he told WBUR in Boston, “and they bring a tremendous amount of, sort of, disgrace to public policy and public life and I condemn them all.”

But Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Republican leader and a close ally of the president’s, said he would oppose the resolution, and when asked whether Mr. Trump’s tweets were racist, replied flatly, “No.”

That drew an appreciative response from a president who appeared to be searching for validation for his statements.

Earlier, Mr. Trump attempted to shift the focus to what he called “HORRIBLE” things said by the four liberal freshmen congresswomen, who have been among the most outspoken in their party in their criticisms of him, including at a news conference on Monday where they described Mr. Trump as racist, xenophobic, misogynistic and criminal.

“This should be a vote on the filthy language, statements and lies told by the Democrat Congresswomen, who I truly believe, based on their actions, hate our Country,” Mr. Trump wrote.

His latest broadside against the women comes hours before the House is poised to vote on a resolution that responds directly to his nativist tweets on Sunday telling the lawmakers — all but one of whom was born in the United States — to “go back” to their countries. The measure is a chance for Democrats to go on offense, and put Republicans on the record either rejecting or endorsing what the president said.


Westlake Legal Group 15dc-trump-sub-videoSixteenByNine3000 Trump Rallies G.O.P. to Oppose Resolution Against Racist Language Trump, Donald J tlaib, rashida Race and Ethnicity Omar, Ilhan Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria Malinowski, Tom Immigration and Emigration discrimination

On Monday, hours after President Trump defended his Twitter attacks on Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna S. Pressley, the four Democratic congresswomen of color held a news conference to respond to his remarks.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

While some Democrats are pressing for a stronger resolution of censure, House leaders have opted instead for a narrower measure based on Mr. Trump’s latest remarks, in an effort to generate a unanimous vote in their party.

“Let’s focus on these comments that the vast majority of Americans recognize to be divisive and racist, that the vast majority of my Republican colleagues, in their hearts, recognize to be divisive and racist,” said Representative Tom Malinowski, Democrat of New Jersey, the sponsor of the resolution.

“We need to move forward with something that can be unifying, and right now, what we can unite around is that what the president said was wrong, un-American, and dangerous.”

During the meeting on Tuesday, Representative Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts and the chairman of the Rules Committee, warned members to take care with their language during the debate, including checking with the official in charge of enforcing floor procedures to make sure their speeches would not violate House rules against making personal references to the president on the floor.

Ms. Pelosi advised Democrats to focus on how Mr. Trump’s “words were racist,” which would keep them in compliance with the rules.

While the vote is symbolic and nonbinding, the debate is certain dramatize the conflict between Democrats and a president who has organized his agenda and his re-election campaign around stoking racial controversy, and casting the group of progressive stars as dangerous extremists to be feared.

Among other things, the resolution declares that the House “believes that immigrants and their descendants have made America stronger,” that “those who take the oath of citizenship are every bit as American as those whose families have lived in the United States for many generations,” and that the House “is committed to keeping America open to those lawfully seeking refuge and asylum from violence and oppression, and those who are willing to work hard to live the American Dream, no matter their race, ethnicity, faith, or country of origin.”

Republican leaders signaled on Tuesday that they would seek to shift the debate from the president’s incendiary remarks to the policies espoused by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and her colleagues.

“I want to make absolutely clear that our opposition to our socialist colleagues has absolutely nothing to do with their gender, with their religion or with their race,” said Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican.

While Mr. Trump’s comments have helped to paper over divisions among Democrats over how aggressively to confront him, the resolution itself prompted more rifts. Representative Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee, introduced a resolution of censure, endorsed by the squad among others, and said it would be “more appropriate” for the House to pass that than the measure scheduled for a vote on Tuesday.

“Censure would put him in the class with Andrew Jackson, which is where he wants to be and we should put him where he wants to be, with a president who was racist, who had slaves and led the Trail of Tears,” Mr. Cohen said.

“We have a different way of doing things,” Mr. Cohen added. “I’m not worried about getting Republicans. I think we ought to do what’s right.”

Democratic leaders deflected questions on Tuesday about the strength of the resolution and sought to shift pressure onto Republicans to reject Mr. Trump’s statements.

“We are hopeful that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle would put country ahead of party, would put decency ahead of Donald Trump,” Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the No. 5 House Democrat, told reporters.

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The Painful Roots of Trump’s ‘Go Back’ Comment

Westlake Legal Group 15dc-goback-facebookJumbo The Painful Roots of Trump’s ‘Go Back’ Comment Whites United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Slavery (Historical) Race and Ethnicity discrimination Blacks American Colonization Society

WASHINGTON — Shelley Jackson was 7 years old the first time she heard it.

In the early 1970s, Ms. Jackson was among a group of 40 black children who were bused from one side of Los Angeles to integrate a majority-white school across town. One day, a playground squabble ended in a white classmate telling her to go back to Africa.

“That day was the first day that I became aware that maybe we weren’t supposed to be there,” Ms. Jackson, who was born in California, said in an interview, “or that wasn’t our place.”

On Sunday, President Trump used a version of a well-worn insult to tell four congresswomen to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done.” All but one are American-born, but all are women of color.

The president’s words reflected a love-it-or-leave-it sentiment that experts say has animated a sense of xenophobia since the dawn of the republic.

But fresh examples persist. Along with more than 4,800 other people who wrote to The New York Times to share their own experiences with the phrase in the hours since Mr. Trump wrote it on Twitter, Ms. Jackson said his words served as a cutting reminder for scores of people who had encountered some version of that phrase throughout their lives, usually when they were speaking out in predominantly white spaces.

“It’s like having a cold glass of water thrown in your face,” Ms. Jackson said, adding that she feels Mr. Trump has emboldened a culture where “you get a pass now to just say the things you only thought before.”

Those who study language and rhetoric say the president’s “go back” comments — or, at least, the sentiment behind them — have roots beginning as far back as the 1600s, when dissidents were banished from American colonies for advocating total religious freedom. Later, a set of laws passed in 1798 allowed the deportation of noncitizens who were considered dangerous, were from hostile nations or had criticized the federal government.

Amos Kiewe, who studies rhetoric at Syracuse University, guessed that the president’s tweet was most likely meant to sow divisions in the Democratic Party — and perhaps kick-start another news cycle that reporters would breathlessly follow — but that it had the side effect of surfacing a phrase with a history that is particularly racially divisive.

“There has always been this xenophobia, fear of the other,” Mr. Kiewe said, “the foreigner, the person who looks different. It has hit different minorities for many decades.”

It was there in 1882, when the Chinese Exclusion Act sought to curb the number of Chinese workers and families entering the United States to find day-labor work, from building railroads to doing laundry. And it was there in the 1840s, when anti-Irish and anti-Catholic sentiment in the United States led to the creation of a nativist political party designed to weed out foreign influence.

One of the prime examples of the “go back” sentiment has roots in the American Colonization Society, a white-led organization that sought to send freed slaves back to Africa. Fodei Batty, an assistant professor of political science at Quinnipiac University, wrote in a 2016 Washington Post analysis that some freed slaves went willingly because they were “disillusioned with the prospects of racial equality in America,” while others who wanted to stay argued that the effort to resettle slaves was a thinly veiled way to purge the United States of black people.

Descendants of those who stayed, Mr. Batty said in an interview, are now familiar with the sort of knee-jerk “go back” slur meant to immediately single out someone from a group where one trait — usually whiteness — is the default.

“You’re making this claim only to adopt a sense of place,” Mr. Batty said, “to put someone in a sense of place and give a sense of the other, that someone is different, without even having an understanding of the implications of those words.”

For African-Americans, the idea of returning to Africa, originally advocated by some whites as a better alternative than servitude, now persists as an angry slur. Outside a Trump rally in Cleveland in 2016, a man was filmed shouting “go back to Africa” at a black woman who was there to protest Mr. Trump.

“Y’all brought us here,” the woman retorted.

From the 4,800 responses The Times received, a common theme seemed to be encountering the slur when speaking up in white spaces, with the targets not limited to African-Americans. Samantha Edwards, a 47-year-old administrative assistant who grew up in Las Vegas, also wrote to The Times to share her story.

In the mid-1990s, she said she and her mother were chased out of a restaurant by two white men who screamed at them to “go back to Mexico.” She said she and her mother had been speaking together in English before the men chased them. Ms. Edwards, who was born in the United States but is of Mexican descent, said her parents avoided teaching her Spanish so she could avoid some of the discrimination they felt.

“It’s frustrating to have a leader of your own country talking like that,” Ms. Edwards said, referring to Mr. Trump. “He’s supposed to represent all of us and he’s not.”

Alanna Daniels, a 33-year-old business analyst from Waco, Tex., said that she often heard different variations of the taunt as a child, depending on which country people thought she was from. Ms. Daniels, who is mixed-race American with a white mother and a black father, said Mr. Trump’s tweet reflected back a version of a “kindergarten, exasperated” insult she has heard throughout her life.

She highlighted the irony that a president who has spent much of his campaign and presidency criticizing his country, often referring to it as a “laughingstock,” is turning that argument back on four congresswomen who have criticized it for other reasons.

“It was almost him saying that ‘this discourse is not for you,’” Ms. Daniels said. “It was almost saying ‘this isn’t yours, you have no skin in the game — literally.’”

On Monday, speaking at a Made in America event showcasing American-made sandals, hot sauce and motorcycles at the White House, Mr. Trump defended himself against assertions that what he said was racist, and that white nationalists were finding common ground with him.

“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” Mr. Trump said. “All I’m saying is that if they want to leave they can leave. It doesn’t say leave forever.”

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A Blaring Message in Republicans’ Muted Criticism: It’s Trump’s Party

WASHINGTON — The lack of widespread Republican condemnation of President Trump for his comments about four Democratic congresswomen of color illustrated both the tightening stranglehold Mr. Trump has on his party and the belief of many Republicans that an attack on progressivism should in fact be a central element of the 2020 campaign.

While a smattering of Republicans chastised Mr. Trump on Monday, most party leaders in the House and Senate and much of the rank-and-file remained quiet about the president’s weekend tweets directing dissenters to “go back” where they came from. He followed up on those comments on Monday with harsh language directed at “people who hate America” — an inflammatory accusation to be leveled against elected members of the House.

With Mr. Trump far more popular with Republican voters than incumbent Republican members of Congress, most are loath to cross the president and risk reprisals. The case of Representative Justin Amash, the Michigan lawmaker who was forced to leave the party after he dared to suggest Mr. Trump should be impeached, serves as a cautionary tale.

At the same time, many Republicans find what they are attempting to label as the “far left” stances of the four congresswomen who were the targets of Mr. Trump’s tirade to be the potential foundation of a sweeping critique of Democrats in 2020. In an appearance on Fox News, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, called the four “a bunch of communists,” a step beyond the president, who said he was at the moment only willing to go so far as calling them “socialists.”

Both the willingness of Republicans to attach extremist labels to Democrats and the Democratic assault against Mr. Trump as a racist and white supremacist presage a particularly bitter 2020 campaign.

Even those lawmakers who took Mr. Trump to task were careful to underscore their differences with the political and policy views of the House Democrats at the center of the storm — Representatives Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, one of the few Republicans who has criticized Mr. Trump since he became president, told a Boston TV station that while the president might have gone too far, “I certainly feel that a number of these new members of Congress have views that are not consistent with my experience and not consistent with building a strong America.”

“I couldn’t disagree more with these congresswomen’s views on immigration, socialism, national security and virtually every policy issue,” said Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania. “But they are entitled to their opinions, however misguided they may be.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157516953_846cf5b5-ca4b-4f4a-b280-1f22ff976d13-articleLarge A Blaring Message in Republicans’ Muted Criticism: It’s Trump’s Party United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J tlaib, rashida Senate Republican Party Pressley, Ayanna Presidential Election of 2020 Omar, Ilhan Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria House of Representatives

Despite occasional rifts, Republicans have mostly tried to sidestep Mr. Trump’s nearly daily Twitter battles.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

Senator Thom Tillis, a North Carolina Republican who faces a potentially difficult re-election campaign next year, sought to dodge the debate over the president’s comments and focus on the differences between the parties. “The reality is I want to shift back to the issues and the America they represent versus the America that I want to see,” Mr. Tillis told reporters.

The rapid approach of the 2020 campaign has drawn Mr. Trump and Republicans on Capitol Hill closer as the lawmakers see their fate inextricably linked to the president, diminishing any possibility that they would break from Mr. Trump.

And the spotlight put on the Democratic presidential candidates and the advocacy by some of them for eliminating private health insurance in favor of a government program, sweeping revisions in the tax code and the institution of liberal immigration policies have galvanized Republicans.

They see Mr. Trump, as outrageous and unpredictable as he might be, as far preferable to any of the Democrats.

“I’m not going to vote for a socialist,” said Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, perhaps the most endangered Republican in the Senate, who has made clear he is firmly allied with the president.

Republicans may cringe at some of Mr. Trump’s crude comments and insults. They may wince at his easily unmasked falsehoods. They may roll their eyes at his lack of understanding of government fundamentals. To many, his personality itself is off-putting. But he is now their guy.

Despite occasional rifts, Republicans have in the main tried to ignore Mr. Trump’s nearly daily Twitter battles.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and majority leader, routinely refuses to engage when pressed about remarks by Mr. Trump that have electrified social media. Other Republicans say they do not see it as their job to be political pundits or to join with the news media and Democrats in castigating Mr. Trump. They also believe that, in most cases, the firestorm lasts only so long and will be quickly followed by the next iteration, making it pointless to get caught up in the repeating cycle.

Over the course of the administration, most Republicans have grown accustomed to Mr. Trump’s fiery outbursts and practiced in how to avoid commenting on them. They find the president, a man who wields his cellphone like a weapon, to be almost always accessible, cajoling and complimenting lawmakers who appreciate the attention.

“My personal recipe for a productive relationship with the president is to work with him in public all I can,” said Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas.CreditGabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

They have also gained experience in how to diplomatically push back against the president and challenge his views when they differ — though usually in private to avoid inciting his ire.

“My personal recipe for a productive relationship with the president is to work with him in public all I can,” said Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas. “When we have disagreements, as we’ve had on tariffs and things like that, we talk in private, try not to embarrass him or ourselves. I’ve found that’s a good way to handle it.”

Recognizing this pattern, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, accused Senate Republicans on Monday of cowardice. “It’s become frighteningly common for many of my Republican colleagues to let these moments sail by without saying even a word,” Mr. Schumer said. “Republican leadership — especially — rarely criticizes the president directly even in a situation like this that so clearly merits it.”

Jeff Flake, the former Arizona Republican senator whose feud with Mr. Trump helped end his congressional career, said he sympathized with the desire of his former colleagues not to address every comment made by Mr. Trump. “But there are times when the president’s comments are so vile and offensive that it is incumbent on Republicans to respond and condemn,” he said on Twitter. “This is one of those times.”

Those hoping for a wide rupture between the president and the more conventional Republican politicians on Capitol Hill say they have finally come to terms with the reality that no break is in the offing with the economy prospering, the election looming and the Trump administration so far avoiding a cataclysmic foreign policy blunder.

“They have made their bed and are trying to sleep in it and hope they don’t have nightmares,” said William Kristol, the conservative Trump critic. “They don’t feel like they are paying a huge price.”

Mr. Kristol said he once believed that the combination of the 2018 election results, the extended government shutdown and the departure of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis — a source of comfort for Republicans who feared Trump would do something rash with the military — might give congressional Republicans pause. But any deep distress that existed seems to have dissipated.

“I am more pessimistic about the notion that the Republican Party will throw off Trump than I was a year ago,” he said.

Instead, Republicans worry that, even at a moment when the president is stirring division, a perceived slight or unwarranted criticism could lead Mr. Trump to throw them off, an outcome that could be ruinous to their political careers.

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After Trump Accuses Four Democratic Congresswomen of Hating U.S., They Fire Back

WASHINGTON — President Trump, under fire for comments that even members of his own party called racist, amplified his attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color on Monday, saying that they hated America and that one of the first two Muslims elected to Congress sympathized with Al Qaeda.

In an extraordinary back and forth from opposite ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, Mr. Trump appeared to revel in the viciousness of his brawl with the four progressive women who have become the young faces of the Democratic Party. He goaded them into a response from Capitol Hill in which they denounced the president’s rhetoric and his policies, charging that he was pressing the agenda of white nationalists from the White House.

“He’s launching a blatantly racist attack on four duly elected members of the United States House of Representatives, all of whom are women of color,” said Representative Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota and the target of Mr. Trump’s most outrageous charges. “This is the agenda of white nationalists, whether it is happening in chat rooms, or it is happening on national TV, and now it’s reached the White House garden.”

The exchange was the latest episode in a presidency in which Mr. Trump has skittered from condemnations of black athletes kneeling during the national anthem to insults lobbed at developing countries to a defense of protesters at a white supremacist march. But now Mr. Trump is going after members of the majority party in the House, capable of fighting back.

The congresswomen vowed not to be baited into a sprint to the bottom with a president they condemned as racist, xenophobic, misogynistic and criminal. Their leader, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, pledged to put a resolution on the floor condemning the president’s language — putting House Republicans on defense.

But Mr. Trump showed no sign of relenting. Even as the four spoke, he was online calling them “radical Democrats” and Twitter-shouting, “IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY HERE, YOU CAN LEAVE!”

It was a message the president appeared determined to amplify throughout the day.

“They’re free to leave if they want,” Mr. Trump said on Monday morning of the congresswomen, referring to Representatives Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts. On Sunday, he tweeted that the social-media-savvy women known as “the squad” should “go back” to the countries they came from, a well-worn racist trope that dates back centuries.

[Analysis: No president in modern times has made appeals to the resentments of white Americans as overtly as Mr. Trump.]

On Monday, he added that Ms. Omar, a Somali refugee and the only one not born in the United States, was a Qaeda sympathizer — a false charge that she said she would not “dignify” with an answer.

“Every time there is a white supremacist who attacks or there is a white man who kills in a school or in a movie theater, or in a mosque, or in a synagogue, I don’t expect my white community members to respond on whether they love that person or not,” she said.

At their news conference, the four condemned rhetoric that they said was intended to distract from what they called brutal, misguided policies and misconduct in office.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158000709_a549d1f3-974b-45ce-8869-b35ad497e294-articleLarge After Trump Accuses Four Democratic Congresswomen of Hating U.S., They Fire Back United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J tlaib, rashida Republican Party Pressley, Ayanna Omar, Ilhan Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria House of Representatives discrimination

During a news conference on Monday on Capitol Hill, Ms. Omar, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Ms. Tlaib and Ms. Pressley responded to Mr. Trump’s comments.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

“This is simply a disruption and a distraction from the callous, chaotic and corrupt culture of this administration,” said Ms. Pressley, who made a point of not referring to the president by name, instead calling him “the occupant of the White House.”

In his appearance earlier Monday, Mr. Trump had sought to deflect criticism about his tweets even as he made it clear he stood behind them, saying it was Ms. Pelosi who was the real racist. As evidence, he pointed to a tweet in which Ms. Pelosi said his statements about the congresswomen confirmed that his “Make America Great Again” slogan “has always been about making America white again.”

Mr. Trump repeatedly sought refuge, as he often has before, in what he insisted was broad public agreement with his inflammatory comments. “A lot of people love it by the way,” the president said. Asked whether he was concerned that his comments were racist and being embraced by white supremacists, who took to Twitter to cheer them, Mr. Trump shrugged.

“It doesn’t concern me, because many people agree with me,” he said. “All I’m saying is if they want to leave, they can leave now.”

But even as he spoke, a handful of Republicans joined a chorus of Democrats in criticizing his incendiary posts, a rare break that demonstrated the degree to which the latest episode is being regarded as a new low for a president who has repeatedly shown a penchant for diminishing the level of discourse.

Representative Michael R. Turner, Republican of Ohio, wrote on Twitter that the president’s tweets “were racist and he should apologize,” adding, “We must work as a country to rise above hate, not enable it.” And Representative Will Hurd of Texas, the lone African-American among House Republicans, called the president’s remarks “racist and xenophobic.”

Others gently distanced themselves from the tweets — “aim higher,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said during an interview on Fox News, the president’s favorite channel — but grabbed the opportunity to criticize the progressive policies for which the squad has become the most visible advocates.

Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only African-American Republican in the Senate, called out both the Democrats’ policies and Mr. Trump.

“Instead of sharing how the Democratic Party’s far-left, pro-socialist policies — not to mention the hateful language some of their members have used towards law enforcement and Jews — are wrong for the future of our nation,” he said, “the president interjected with unacceptable personal attacks and racially offensive language. No matter our political disagreements, aiming for the lowest common denominator will only divide our nation further.”

Mr. Trump appeared to have particular contempt for Ms. Omar, who came to the country as a child and wears a hijab.

Mr. Trump falsely accused the Minnesota congresswoman of proclaiming “love” for Al Qaeda, “talking about how great Al Qaeda is” and saying that “when I think of Al Qaeda, I can hold my chest out.” He was distorting remarks she made in a 2013 interview with a local television program on Middle Eastern community issues.

In the interview, Ms. Omar repeatedly denounced Al Qaeda and one of its affiliates, Al Shabab, for committing “heinous” and “evil” acts and “atrocities.” The “hold my chest out” comment referred to her description of how she said her former college professor said “Al Qaeda” with physical intensity to emphasize the weight of the words during a discussion about why the Arabic names of terrorist groups are left untranslated.

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The war of words shifted the spotlight, at least for now, away from internal divisions among Democrats that had taken on a racial dimension, after Ms. Pelosi publicly sparred with the congresswomen and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez suggested that they were being targeted because of their race.

Instead, Democrats were focused Monday on their fight with Mr. Trump, as the speaker has repeatedly counseled it should be, lest they play into the hands of an opportunistic president. In a letter to colleagues that called the tweets against the congresswomen “disgusting attacks,” Ms. Pelosi announced that the House would move to officially reject the sentiment in a resolution.

“Let me be clear, our caucus will continue to forcefully respond to these disgusting attacks,” Ms. Pelosi wrote. “The House cannot allow the president’s characterization of immigrants to our country to stand. Our Republican colleagues must join us in condemning the president’s xenophobic tweets.”

The resolution, which was introduced on Monday evening by Representative Tom Malinowski of New Jersey, who was born in Poland, cites positive statements by the nation’s founders and past presidents of both parties about the importance of immigrants to the United States, and asserts that the House “strongly condemns President Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.” It mentions both Mr. Trump’s “go back” tweet and his branding of immigrants and asylum seekers as “invaders.”

Mr. Scott and Mr. Hurd said the president’s remarks were particularly detrimental because they appeared to unify Democrats at a time when they had been engaged in an internal dispute about race.

For months there has been a rift between Ms. Pelosi and the four lawmakers, and last week tensions grew when Ms. Pelosi pointedly said they had no following in Congress. The four women opposed a $4.6 billion aid package for the border, approved by Congress, because they said it supported Mr. Trump’s immigration policies.

The tone of the president’s remarks, however, is something they agree on.

“We’ll stay focused on our agenda and we won’t get caught slipping, because all of this is a distraction,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said.

Mr. Trump clearly sees a political advantage in his targeting of the congresswomen, betting that by focusing attention on them, he will be better able to paint all Democrats with a broad brush of socialism and radical policies.

“The Dems were trying to distance themselves from the four ‘progressives,’ but now they are forced to embrace them,” Mr. Trump gloated on Twitter on Monday evening. “That means they are endorsing Socialism, hate of Israel and the USA! Not good for the Democrats!”

Cornell Belcher, a Democratic pollster and strategist, said Mr. Trump’s latest remarks reflected a broader strategy to use the same kind of racial animus that helped propel his 2016 presidential bid to bolster his base for his 2020 re-election push.

“He’s crazy like a fox, and it only makes perfectly good sense for him to go back to what got him here in the first place, which is driving this racial angst in the electorate,” Mr. Belcher said.

There are risks for Democrats in the strategy, he added, if they accede to Mr. Trump’s wishes.

“To a certain extent, the electorate already gets that Donald Trump is racist and he says racist, offensive things, so of course, you have to condemn what he says as a matter of principle,” Mr. Belcher said. “But from a strategic standpoint, does it get you anything to fall into where he clearly wants the battle to be fought? It’s almost like he’s picking the battlefield for 2020.”

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Trump’s Aides, Not Eager to Defend His Tweets, Also Don’t Condemn Them

WASHINGTON — When President Trump defended neo-Nazi protesters in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, one of his top aides took the rare step of publicly condemning what he said.

Gary D. Cohn, who served as his top economic adviser at the time, said in an interview with The Financial Times that “this administration can and must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups.”

On Monday, Mr. Cohn’s successor in the West Wing, Larry Kudlow, steered clear of the latest flare-up of Mr. Trump’s inflammatory language.

“That’s way out of my lane,” Mr. Kudlow said when asked about the president’s weekend tweets, in which he said four Democratic congresswomen of color should “go back” to the countries they came from — even though three of them were born in the United States and all four are American citizens.

“He’s tweeted what he’s tweeted,” Mr. Kudlow said. “You’ll have to talk to him about that.”

Almost two years after Charlottesville, when Mr. Trump refused to condemn white supremacists after their deadly clash with a crowd protesting them, presidential statements widely condemned as racist are still putting White House officials in the awkward position of having to defend comments they privately wish Mr. Trump had not made.

But they are also causing less heartburn in the West Wing than they used to.

After Charlottesville, Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and a White House adviser, issued her own statement on Twitter, saying there was “no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.” It was a notable corrective to her father.

On Monday, Ms. Trump declined to comment on her father’s latest remarks, which even some Republican lawmakers called “racist and xenophobic” and said demanded an apology.

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, who was giving an unrelated briefing on cryptocurrencies on Monday, could not so easily avoid being asked about Mr. Trump’s tweets. “I do not find them racist,” he told reporters, but he added that the president “speaks for himself on that.” Mr. Mnuchin had also defended Mr. Trump’s comments about Charlottesville.

When asked if Mr. Trump’s tweets were racist, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, the acting director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, said on CNN: “No, I see that as presumably political hand grenades.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157996323_ac50e735-195e-45d3-821b-e459129c3120-articleLarge Trump’s Aides, Not Eager to Defend His Tweets, Also Don’t Condemn Them United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Race and Ethnicity Omar, Ilhan Mnuchin, Steven T Kudlow, Lawrence A Giuliani, Rudolph W discrimination Charlottesville, Va, Violence (August, 2017)

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, who was giving an unrelated briefing on cryptocurrencies on Monday, was asked about Mr. Trump’s tweets. “I do not find them racist,” he told reporters.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, was similarly dismissive of the idea that the attack on the congresswomen was racist. “He’s just pointing out that all they ever seem to do is attack America,” he said.

And Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, said Mr. Trump’s “intent” was not “in any way racist.” Mr. Short pointed to the fact that an Asian immigrant, Elaine Chao — who also happens to be married to Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader — serves in the president’s cabinet as transportation secretary. “This is not a universal statement that he’s making,” Mr. Short said. “He’s making it about an individual member of Congress.”

Neither the White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, nor one of Mr. Trump’s most visible television defenders, Kellyanne Conway, weighed in on Monday. And other White House officials acknowledged privately that Mr. Trump’s statements were difficult to defend.

But in interviews with a half-dozen current and former White House officials, many said Mr. Trump’s comments, which relied on an age-old racist trope to further an us-against-them political strategy Mr. Trump hopes to ride into his re-election, did not at a “gut level” rise to the level of the Charlottesville crisis, in which one protester was killed. After that incident, Mr. Cohn even drafted a resignation letter, though he ultimately did not submit it to Mr. Trump.

More frustrating to many internally, they said, was that Mr. Trump interrupted an intraparty Democratic fight between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the freshman congresswomen known as “the squad” by uniting them against a common enemy in the White House.

Administration veterans said they had long ago become immune to thinking anything Mr. Trump said would stick to him for more than one news cycle. Indeed, even a year after Charlottesville, Republican lawmakers who distanced themselves from the president had come back to embrace his tax overhaul and his selection of Brett M. Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.

And many of the corporate executives who quit Mr. Trump’s business councils in protest have since dined privately with Mr. Trump at the White House. Mr. Trump’s poll numbers, meanwhile, have remained steadily in the low to mid-40s, showing no prolonged drop-off because of any particular crisis.

Two former White House officials also claimed that on the subject of the Democratic congresswomen of color, the truth was that many Americans agreed with Mr. Trump. One campaign official said that if Mr. Trump succeeded in forcing Democrats to embrace as progressive leaders members like Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, whose remarks her own party has sometimes struggled to defend, it could hurt them.

Mr. Trump trained his criticism specifically on Ms. Omar on Monday when he defended his weekend tweets.

“I hear the way she talks about Al Qaeda,” Mr. Trump told reporters on the South Lawn. “When she talked about the World Trade Center being knocked down by ‘some people.’” Mr. Trump said that “these are people that in my opinion hate our country. Now you can say what you want, but get a list of all of the statements they have made. And all I’m saying: that if they are not happy here, they can leave.”

If his staff was not eager to publicly defend Mr. Trump, he showed on Monday that he was happy to do it himself. When asked whether it was worrisome that many people viewed his tweets as racist, Mr. Trump said that “it doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me.”

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Tariffs on China Don’t Cover the Costs of Trump’s Trade War

Westlake Legal Group merlin_156648417_22d1cfc3-1331-4e84-b1a5-5523c82cc0e2-facebookJumbo Tariffs on China Don’t Cover the Costs of Trump’s Trade War Vietnam United States Economy United States Trump, Donald J Nucor Corporation International Trade and World Market Customs and Border Protection (US) China

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday portrayed America as being on the winning end of his trade war, saying tariffs are punishing China’s economy while generating billions of dollars for the United States, an economic victory that will allow him to continue his fight without domestic harm.

“We’ve taken in tens of billions of dollars in tariffs from China,” Mr. Trump told reporters during a “Made in America” product event at the White House. While China has taken $16 billion “off the table” by stopping its purchases of American agriculture, he said, the United States has “taken in much, much more — many times that in tariffs.”

But government figures show that the revenue the United States has collected from tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods is not enough to cover the cost of the president’s bailout for farmers, let alone compensate the many other industries hurt by trade tensions. The longer Mr. Trump’s dispute with China drags on, the more difficult it could be for him to ignore that gap.

Mr. Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports raised $20.8 billion through Wednesday, according to data from United States Customs and Border Protection. Mr. Trump has already committed to paying American farmers hurt by the trade war $28 billion.

The president has rolled out two rounds of financial support for farmers: a $12 billion package that was announced last July, of which nearly $10 billion has been spent, and an additional $16 billion announced in May.

The government has provided no such benefit to the myriad other businesses, including plane makers, technology companies and medical device manufacturers, that have lost contracts and revenue as a result of Mr. Trump’s tariffs and China’s retaliation against American goods.

Trade talks with China have faltered in recent months, and Mr. Trump and his aides appear to be in no hurry to resolve the dispute, projecting confidence that China is suffering more of the harm, if not all of it.

Mr. Trump’s tariffs are undeniably hurting China, where exports power about 20 percent of the economy, compared with 12 percent in the United States. On Monday, the Chinese government said its economy had grown at a 6.2 percent annual rate in the second quarter, the lowest rate in 27 years.

“The United States Tariffs are having a major effect on companies wanting to leave China for non-tariffed countries,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter on Monday morning, commenting on the Chinese growth figures. “Thousands of companies are leaving. This is why China wants to make a deal with the U.S., and wishes it had not broken the original deal in the first place.”

There is little sign, though, that China’s loss is America’s gain. Much of the business activity is shifting to other low-cost countries, like Vietnam, with a transition cost attached for American companies that depend on them.

Numerous companies have announced changes in their supply chains or other effects from the tariffs, and more could be revealed as companies report second-quarter earnings in coming weeks. Nintendo has accelerated the shift of its Switch console to Vietnam from China, according to Panjiva, a supply chain research firm, while GoPro, Hasbro and other companies are reworking their supply chains to reduce their exposure to China.

The president and his advisers have argued that now is the time to try to force China to change trading practices that they say have hurt American companies and resulted in the loss of American jobs. The administration argues that the status quo was not without costs to the American economy. An investigation by the administration into Chinese intellectual property theft found that China’s policies had resulted in harm to the American economy of at least $50 billion per year.

Many trade experts and business leaders support confronting Beijing, and some have said the heavy cost of the trade war will be worth it if the United States can persuade China to open up its economy. But most disagree with the administration’s claim that the trade war is having no negative effect on American businesses.

“Certainly it is absolute folly to suggest that this is cost free for the U.S.,” said Rufus Yerxa, the president of the National Foreign Trade Council, which represents major American exporters.

Numerous studies have shown that American consumers are bearing much of the cost of the tariffs. Studies from the Tax Foundation in Washington and the Penn Wharton Budget Model at the University of Pennsylvania have shown that the tariffs amount to a significant tax increase on Americans, by raising the prices of goods. The damage is concentrated, as a percentage of income, among the lowest earners, who spend a larger share of their pay on imports than the upper middle class and the rich.

The administration has gradually increased the amount of Chinese goods subject to tariffs over the last year, from an initial $34 billion to a total of $250 billion, and ramped up the tariff rate on those goods.

But the monthly pace of revenue collection from tariffs has not increased this year. That’s because America is importing fewer Chinese goods than it did a year ago, which has canceled out the higher tariffs on a larger share of Chinese goods.

That decline appears to be the product of an overall slowdown in trade — which has contributed to weakened exports for American manufacturers — and the shift in supply chains to other countries. Imported goods from Vietnam have risen more than 30 percent this year from a year ago, Commerce Department data show.

Tariff revenue would likely surge if Mr. Trump followed through on his threat to impose tariffs on nearly all Chinese goods.

The administration has tried to put the levers of the government to work to shelter and support American businesses. On Monday, Mr. Trump signed an executive order requiring that 95 percent of the steel and iron that goes into projects funded by federal contracts eventually be American made, up from 50 percent.

The order is the latest in a series of proclamations that the president has made to encourage more purchases of American goods. An order in January encouraged companies to use American iron, steel, aluminum, cement and other products to the extent practical, but did not set any binding target.

John Ferriola, the chief executive of Nucor, a steel company in North Carolina, applauded the move. “We believe it’s good for our country, and it’s certainly good for the industry, I can’t deny that,” he said.

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Four Congresswomen Denounce Trump After He Accuses Them of Hating America

WASHINGTON — President Trump, under fire for comments that even some Republicans called racist, amplified his attacks on Democrats in Congress on Monday, calling one of the first two Muslim women elected to the House a Qaeda sympathizer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi a racist.

“They’re free to leave if they want. If they want to leave, that’s fine. If they want to stay, that’s fine,” Mr. Trump said on Monday, referring to Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts. He added that they hated America.

Hours later, the four called a news conference to scathingly denounce Mr. Trump’s latest remarks, which they argued were part of a pattern of hateful language designed to distract from what they said were brutal policies and misconduct in office.

“I encourage the American people, and all of us in this room and beyond, to not take the bait,” said Ms. Pressley, who made a point of not referring to the president by name, instead calling him “the occupant of the White House.”

“This is simply a disruption and a distraction from the callous, chaotic, and corrupt culture of this administration,” she added.

In a blistering speech that culminated with a call to impeach him, Ms. Omar recounted a litany of the president’s most offensive comments about people of color, women and immigrants.

“And to distract from that, he’s launching a blatantly racist attack on four duly elected members of the United States of House of Representatives, all of whom are women of color,” Ms. Omar said. “This is the agenda of white nationalists, whether it is happening in chat rooms, or it is happening on national TV, and now it is reached the White House garden.”

On Sunday, Mr. Trump said they should “go back” to the countries they came from, though all but Ms. Omar were born in the United States.

“Trump feels comfortable leading the G.O.P. into outright racism, and that should concern all Americans,” the freshman Democrat from the Bronx wrote on Twitter.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158000709_a549d1f3-974b-45ce-8869-b35ad497e294-articleLarge Four Congresswomen Denounce Trump After He Accuses Them of Hating America United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J tlaib, rashida Republican Party Pressley, Ayanna Omar, Ilhan Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria House of Representatives discrimination

During a news conference on Monday on Capitol Hill, Ms. Omar, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Ms. Tlaib and Ms. Pressley responded to Mr. Trump’s comments.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Mr. Trump’s new front against Ms. Pelosi came after she announced that the House would move to officially reject the president’s tweets about members of Congress. “Our Republican colleagues must join us in condemning the president’s xenophobic tweets,” she said in a letter to lawmakers.

She reacted just hours after Mr. Trump tried to turn the situation around and accused the congresswomen of “foul language & racist hatred” and demanded an apology from them.

Ms. Pelosi criticized the president on Sunday for his remarks and said that his slogan, “‘Make America Great Again,’ has always been about making America white again.”

Mr. Trump, in turn, accused her of racist remarks. “So Speaker Pelosi said, ‘Make America white again.’ That’s a very racist — that’s a very racist statement. I’m surprised she’d say that,” Mr. Trump said at an event celebrating American manufacturing at the White House.

Early Monday, few Republican lawmakers had responded to Mr. Trump’s comments, widely seen as racist. By midday, however, that had changed. Representative Michael R. Turner, Republican of Ohio, said Mr. Trump’s comments on Sunday were “racist” and the president should apologize. And Representative Will Hurd of Texas, the House’s only black Republican, condemned the president’s remarks, calling them “racist, and xenophobic.”

Mr. Hurd also said the president’s narrative was politically damaging because it is uniting Democrats at a time when the party is experiencing a “civil war.”

Ms. Pelosi’s pledge to formally reject Mr. Trump’s comments appeared to make his point.

“Let me be clear, our caucus will continue to forcefully respond to these disgusting attacks,” Ms. Pelosi said in the letter. “The House cannot allow the president’s characterization of immigrants to our country to stand.”

Ms. Pelosi said the resolution, which has yet to be drafted, would make reference to a speech by President Ronald Reagan in which he said that “if we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost.”

For months there has been a rift between Ms. Pelosi and the four lawmakers, and last week tensions grew when Ms. Pelosi pointedly said they had no following in Congress. The four lawmakers, who call themselves “the squad,” opposed a $4.6 billion aid package for the border, approved by Congress, because they said it supported Mr. Trump’s immigration policies.

[Analysis: No president in modern times has made appeals to the resentments of white Americans as overtly as President Trump.]

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The tone of the president’s remarks, however, is something they agree on.

Mr. Trump’s comments on Monday also addressed strains from earlier this year when Ms. Omar sent jolts through her own party for criticizing Israel and suggesting that supporters of Israel were pushing for “allegiance to a foreign country.”

“I can tell you that they have made Israel feel abandoned by the U.S.,” Mr. Trump wrote in one of his tweets.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, said Mr. Trump’s use of Israel in his comments hurts the Jewish community.

“He doesn’t speak for any of us,” Mr. Greenblatt wrote in a Twitter post on Monday. “We call on ALL leaders across the political spectrum to condemn these racist, xenophobic tweets & using Jews as a shield.”

Ms. Omar defended herself defiantly: “They are working to silence the voices of the people who see themselves represented in me,” she wrote on Twitter. “I will stay in the ring, fighting for what is right and will never back down in the face of these attacks.”

Two Republican senators, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania, suggested that the president steer clear of personal attacks and instead focus on policy.

“We all know that A.O.C. and this crowd are a bunch of communists,” Mr. Graham said on Fox News. “They hate Israel, they hate our own country.” But he also pushed back against the president’s suggestion that the women are not American.

“They are American citizens,” Mr. Graham said. “They won an election. Take on their policies. The bottom line here is this is a diverse country.”

He added: “Mr. President, you’re right about their policies. You’re right about where they will take the country. Just aim higher.”

Mr. Trump said he disagreed with Mr. Graham about aiming higher. “These are congressmen. What am I supposed to do, just wait for senators? No,” Mr. Trump said.

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