Republican leaders defend Trump’s tweets

(NBC News) President Trump escalated his attacks on four Democratic congresswomen Tuesday as criticism of his “blatantly racist” tweets target the group continue to draw fire.

“It’s my opinion they hate our country,” Mr. Trump said ahead of a meeting with his cabinet.

One of his targets, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, responded by tweeting “Donald Trump has decided he does not want to be President of the United States. He does not want to be a President to those who disagree. And he’d rather see most Americans leave than handle our nation’s enshrined tradition of dissent. But we don’t leave the things we love.”

Republican leaders, meanwhile, are rallying to defend the president against those labeling him a racist.

“The president’s is not a racist. I think the tone of all of this is not good for the country,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

Democrats continue to condemn the remarks.

“There’s no one who cannot take that as a racist statement,” said West Virginia’s Senator Joe Manchin.

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