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‘The Squad’ Tells CBS: Trump’s Attacking Us over Policy, Not Race

‘Ask yourself why is he criticizing’

The freshmen Democratic lawmakers collectively known as the “The Squad” suggested Wednesday that President Trump is right that his attacks on the four women are based on policy, not race. 

Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) sat down with CBS News’ Gayle King to respond to Trump’s most recent criticisms. 

The progressive pols told King that Trump’s attacks are intended to stop their policy goals of Medicare-for-All, reduced incarceration, and other issues.  

“You should be asking why is it that we are being criticized?” Rep. Omar told King. “What is it that we bring to this body?“

Omar’s colleague, Rep. Tlaib, helped answer.

“I’ll tell you what we bring,” Tlaib interjected. “We are an extension of a movement in our country that wants Medicare for all — that wants us to unmask, our incarceration, that wants us to push back against the attacks of communities of color. I think all of us have incredibly strong residents in our district that have spoke volumes in electing four people like us.”

Rep. Pressley said it’s their left-wing ideas that unite them, not their skin colors. 

“What we are,” she said, “are four lawmakers who happen to land in the same place on the same issue time and time again.”

Here’s an excerpt from their comments:

KING: “It’s interesting that you all use the word ‘distraction,’ that he is — that he is trying to — he is trying to distract away from real issues. You know, it’s been said about the four of you, that the four of you are a distraction, that you’re — you’re playing right into the president’s hands. What do you say to people — and you have your critics too who say that you all are also a distraction?”
OMAR: “The insinuation of that question in and of itself is a distraction. I think he wants you to focus on that.  You should be asking why is it that we are being criticized? What is it that we bring to this body —“
TLAIB: “I’ll tell you what we bring.”
OMAR: “— exactly — that brings criticism?” 
TLAIB: “We are an extension of a movement in our country that wants Medicare for all —“
OMAR: “Right.”
TLAIB: “— that wants us to unmask, our incarceration, that wants us to push back against the attacks of communities of color. I think all of us have incredibly strong residents in our district that have spoke volumes in electing four people like us.”
OMAR: “And we are a distraction to the business as usual, that’s been in Washington, right? We were elected for that purpose.”
PRESSLEY: “But can I also just add —“
KING: “Yes.”
PRESSLEY: “— that each of us represent very different districts —“
KING: “Yes. Right.”
PRESSLEY: “— and each of us bring our unique and authentic voice to this body. We govern in our own way. What we are, are four women who have an alignment of values, shared policy priorities. There is no insurgency here. There’s nothing —“ [crosstalk]
KING: “There’s no insurgency?”
PRESSLEY: “There is no insurgency and there is nothing conspiratorial. What we are, are four lawmakers who happen to land in the same place on the same issue time and time again.”

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