“Made in America” event spirals as Trump defends ‘racist’ tweets

Politics

(CBS) – President Trump’s “Made in America” product showcase spiraled Monday, as he defiantly launched into a defense of his weekend tweets claiming progressive female representatives of color should “go back” to their countries. 

Facing shouted questions from reporters Monday at an event that was supposed to center around American-made products, Mr. Trump quickly allowed for the focus of the day to be his racially tinged remarks instead, even claiming he is unconcerned by white nationalists championing his words. 

“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” Mr. Trump responded, going on to say that if he hadn’t won, the economy would be in shambles. 

The president repeatedly insisted that people who don’t love America should leave, as reporters — positioned far from the president during the event — continued to lob questions. 

“These are people that in my opinion hate our country,” the president said. The audience applauded many of the president’s remarks. 

When a reporter pointed out that many of the congresswomen the president appears to be criticizing were born in America and all are citizens, Mr. Trump retorted that, “All they do is complain.” 

Mr. Trump’s racially infused tweets over the weekend have prompted intense criticism from Democrats but very little criticism from Republicans. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House will hold a vote on a resolution to condemn the president’s statement about her colleagues. 

But Mr. Trump tweeted Monday morning that the people he offended should apologize to him, not the other way around.

“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!” Mr. Trump tweeted Monday morning

The president’s remarks at the event come the same morning his administration has announced it’s moving to end asylum protections for migrants coming from Central American countries, a step that’s all-but-certain to face challenges in the courts. The American Civil Liberties Union has already announced its intention to sue. 

During the “Made in America” event, the president insisted the U.S. has to defend its borders, and will do so and build a wall, despite any legal challenges. 

“The philosophy of my administration is simple if we can build it grow it or make it in the United States, we will,” the president said. 

The executive order the president signed towards the end of the event, increasing requirements for the government’s purchase of products made in the U.S., was overshadowed. 

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