Two senators from President Trump’s own party spoke out Monday against the president’s tweets suggesting that four minority congresswomen "go back" to where they came from, calling the tweets “spiteful” and arguing that Trump should remove them from his Twitter feed.
Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, became the most prominent Republican lawmakers to openly condemn Trump for his tweets on Sunday and called for them to be taken down. Both lawmakers have in the past bucked party lines and criticized Trump for controversial words and actions.
"I disagree strongly with many of the views and comments of some of the far-left members of the House Democratic Caucus,” Collins said in a statement. “[B]ut the President’s tweet that some Members of Congress should go back to the ‘places from which they came’ was way over the line, and he should take that down.”
All four of the women Trump apparently was referring to are American citizens and three of the four were born in the United States.
In a pair of tweets, Murkowski called Trump’s comments “unacceptable” and demanded “a higher standard of decorum and decency.”
“There is no excuse for the president’s spiteful comments –they were absolutely unacceptable and this needs to stop,” she said.
The two senators’ criticism was echoed by Mike Turner, a Republican representative from Ohio, who also took to Twitter to call Trump’s comments “racist” and to demand an apology.
“I am confident that every Member of Congress is a committed American,” Turner tweeted. “Donald Trump’s tweets from this weekend were racist and he should apologize. We must work as a country to rise above hate, not enable it.”
Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, also criticized Trump, telling CNN that the president's tweets were "racist and xenophobic."
Trump has faced widespread criticism from Democrats and many in the media for the tweets saying the four outspoken liberal congresswomen should go back to their "broken and crime infested" countries.
While Trump didn't name the four, he is almost certainly referring to congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Only Omar, from Somalia, is foreign-born.
Trump doubled down on Monday, saying the four congresswomen should apologize to him for past remarks about Israel and about him.
"When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said. So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!" he tweeted.
Omar ignited a bipartisan uproar in Washington several months ago when she suggested that members of Congress support Israel for money. Tlaib riled up a supportive crowd by calling the president a profanity and predicting that Trump will be removed from office.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday the House will vote on a resolution condemning Trump's tweets.
Pelosi said Trump "went beyond his own low standards using disgraceful language about members of Congress" and said his "disgusting" comments cannot stand without rebuttal.
Pelosi has called on lawmakers from both major political parties to support the resolution, which will cite former President Ronald Reagan's last speech as president in which he thanked immigrants, adding that if the U.S. "ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost."
Despite the widespread condemnation of Trump’s tweets, the majority of Republican lawmakers in Washington have remained silent amid the controversy.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., advised Trump to "aim higher" following Trump's incendiary tweets. Graham, a close ally of Trump who golfed with the president over the weekend, offered the advice in an interview with "Fox & Friends" Monday morning.
Graham said the lawmakers "are American citizens" who were "duly elected," and said Trump should "take on their policies" instead of launching personal attacks. Still, Graham called the members "anti-Semitic" and "anti-American," saying that "AOC and this crowd are a bunch of communists. They hate Israel. They hate our own country."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.