WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday increased his attacks on four first-term Democratic congresswomen and warned the party about uniting “around the foul language & racist hatred spewed” from the American women whom he recently told to “go back” to their own countries.
Instead of walking back his remarks, Mr. Trump demanded that the four congresswomen, Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts, issue their own apologies to him and “the people of Israel.” Ms. Omar is the only one of the four who was born outside the United States.
“So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!” he wrote.
Few Republicans have responded to Mr. Trump’s comments, widely seen as racist. On Monday, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, encouraged Mr. Trump to “aim higher,” while also calling Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and the other three lawmakers communists.
“We all know that AOC 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,” he said. “They won an election. Take on their policies. The bottom line here is this is a diverse country. Mr. President, you’re right about their policies. You’re right about where they will take the country. Just aim higher.”
Mr. Trump appeared to agree with Mr. Graham, and he tweeted a longer quotation from the senator’s appearance on Fox News. “Need I say more?” the president wrote.
On Sunday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded to the president and suggested he was advocating white nationalism.
“When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again,” she said in a Twitter post.
Tensions between Ms. Pelosi and the four liberal representatives have been simmering for months, and last week came to a head 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.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez on Monday wrote on Twitter that Mr. Trump’s language was common among white supremacists.
“Trump feels comfortable leading the GOP into outright racism, and that should concern all Americans,” she wrote.
Mr. Trump’s Twitter assault also addressed tensions from earlier this year when Ms. Omar sent jolts through her own party for criticizing Israel and suggesting that supporters for Israel were pushing for “allegiance to a foreign country.”