After being on the receiving end of a series of racist attacks from Donald Trump, freshmen Democratic Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley — also known as “the squad” — held a joint press conference to condemn the president.
On July 15, the squad faced reporters at the Capitol, where they not only criticized Trump’s divisive tactics, but also defended their own progressive ideology.
"He would love nothing more than to divide our country based on race, religion, gender, orientation or immigration status, because this is the only way he knows he can prevent the solidarity of us working together," Rep. Omar of Minnesota told the room.
Omar, who has faced additional criticism for her comments regarding Republican support of Israel, also said it was "complete hypocrisy" for Trump to say anyone who doesn’t support his policies should leave.
"When people say, 'If you say a negative thing about the policies in this country, you hate this country,' to me, it sort of speaks to the hypocrisy," Omar said. "When this president ran and until today, he talked about everything that was wrong in this country and how he was going to make it great. And so for him to condemn us and to say we are un-American for wanting to work hard to make this country be the country we all deserve to live in, it's complete hypocrisy."
When Rep. Pressley took the stage, she assured her constituents and marginalized people around the country they plan to fight the president’s hatred.
"Despite [the president's] attempts to marginalize us and to silence us, please know that we are more than four people. We ran on a mandate to advocate for and represent those ignored, left out and left behind. Our squad is big," Pressley said.
Pressley was elected as the first Black congresswoman to represent Massachusetts after defeating 20-year incumbent Rep. Mike Capuano.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, the Bronx native born to Puerto Rican parents, recounted a sentimental memory from a trip she took with her later father to the Lincoln Memorial.
"No matter what the president says, this country belongs to you," she told the children of the country.
Before the day was over, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced Democratic lawmakers in the House will be introducing a resolution to condemn the president's racist attack.
After the press conference, Trump hopped right back on Twitter and defended his repeated attacks on the squad.