Trump hits 'send her back' chant, claims he tried to stop it

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump today chided his supporters who chanted "send her back" when he questioned the loyalty of a Somali-born congresswoman, joining widespread criticism of the campaign crowd's cry after fellow Republicans warned it could hurt the GOP in next year's elections

In a week that has corkscrewed daily with hostile exchanges over race and love of country , Trump also claimed he had tried to stop the chant at a reelection event Wednesday night in North Carolina.

"I started speaking really quickly," he told reporters. "I was not happy with it. I disagree with it" and "would certainly try" to stop any similar chant at a future rally.

Video, however, shows the crowd's "send her back" shouts resounded for 13 seconds as Trump made no attempt to interrupt them. He paused in his speech and surveyed the scene, taking in the uproar.

The taunt's target – Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota – was pressed for a response on Thursday, as Trump was.

"This is what this president and his supporters have turned our country" into, she said as she walked outside the U.S. Capitol. "This is not about me. This is about fighting about what this country truly should b e and what it deserves to be."

"I believe he is fascist," she said.

Trump, though taking issue with the chant, didn't back away Thursday from his criticism of Omar and three other Democratic congresswomen of color.

They have "a big obligation and the obligation is to love your country," he said. "There's such hatred. They have such hatred."

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