PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Oregon’s lone Republican congressman broke his silence on President Donald Trump’s tweets against Democratic congresswomen of color that have been condemned by Democratic lawmakers and critics as racist before voting against condemning the commander-in-chief.
In his statement released Tuesday morning, Greg Walden said stressed he does not and never will “condone discrimination” since “America is a nation of immigrants.”
“The President’s recent tweets do not reflect the values that we hold dear in America and they are comments that should not be made about any American citizen regardless of who they are or where they work,” the Hood River Republican said.
Trump has been under fire by Democratic lawmakers and some Republicans since writing a series of tweets over the weekend that appeared to target four freshmen Democratic congresswomen of color, telling them to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” The president then appeared to double down on his rhetoric during a press conference at the White House’s Rose Garden on Monday during a “Made in America” event intended to showcase U.S.-made products after reporter asked Trump if he was concerned with white nationalists finding “common cause” with him.
“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” Trump said, according to CBS News. “And all I’m saying, they want to leave, they can leave.”
Although Walden did repudiate the president’s tweets, he also called statements from the congresswomen — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib — accusing U.S. Customs and Border Protection of “running concentration camps” and those who support Israel do it for money “disgusting and wrong.
“They distract from the real issues our nation faces, like the humanitarian crisis at the border, the rising cost of health care, and providing for our veterans and active duty military,” he continued, adding, “Respectfully, Congress needs to stop wasting time bickering over mean tweets and get back to tackling the real problems facing our nation.”
Tuesday’s statement from Walden came after the congressman attended Monday’s “Made in America” event at the White House and before he voted against condemning Trump during a Tuesday evening resolution that censured the president’s “racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”
The resolution passed in the chamber by a 240-187 vote.