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Trump says minority Congresswomen should ‘apologize to America’

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US President says congresswomen should apologise for 'hateful' comments

WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump on Sunday renewed his attacks on four Democratic congresswomen he launched xenophobic tweets against last week, demanding they apologise "for the horrible (hateful) things they have said".

"I don't believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country," Mr Trump tweeted of ethnic-minority first-term Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley.

"They should apologise to America (and Israel) for the horrible (hateful) things they have said. They are destroying the Democrat Party, but are weak & insecure people who can never destroy our great Nation!" the president tweeted.

The comments come a week after Mr Trump sparked a firestorm of outrage when he attacked the left-leaning lawmakers in a series of tweets, saying they should "go back" to their countries of origin.

The group - all American citizens, three of whom were born in the US - are of Hispanic, Arab, Somali and African-American descent.

In a rare move, Mr Trump was rebuked by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on Tuesday for "racist comments" against the women, who are known as the Squad.

The following day, chants of "Send her back!" broke out at the president's Make America Great Again rally in Greenville, North Carolina, when he again attacked the women.

Mr Trump claimed falsely that Ms Omar had said the terrorist organisation Al-Qaeda made her "proud" and he described the congresswomen as "left-wing ideologues (who) see our nation as a force of evil".

Mr Trump later said there was "great energy" at the rally but claimed he was not pleased by the taunts.

Television footage showed that Mr Trump let the chants continue for about a quarter of a minute, resuming speaking as they died down.

Analysts say the president's performance in Greenville demonstrated that without a Democratic presidential candidate to focus on yet, he plans to make inflammatory attacks on the Squad a centrepiece of his 2020 reelection strategy.

Two days after the rally, he falsely accused the congresswomen of using the phrase "evil Jews," and Ms Ocasio-Cortez in particular of calling Americans "garbage".

Several of the Democratic presidential hopefuls who plan to run against him and a few Republicans have urged Mr Trump to tone down the rhetoric.

Senator Corey Booker, a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, told the CBS programme Face the Nation: "He is... using race like a weapon to divide our country against itself." - AFP