Transcript for Trump denies tweets that ignited firestorm were racist
But we do begin tonight with the president and the growing firestorm after tweeting, telling four democratic congresswomen to go back to their own countries. The president doubling down today, and a short time ago, those congresswomen coming before the cameras to answer the president. ABC's senior white house correspondent Cecilia Vega leads us off tonight from the white house. Reporter: President trump today ramped up attacks against four democratic congresswomen after his racist tweets against them ignited a firestorm. They hate our country. They hate it, I think, with a passion. Reporter: The president saying the congresswomen, all women of color, "Originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe." Adding, "Why don't they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came." But all four congresswomen are American citizens. Three born in the United States, in Cincinnati, Detroit, New York City. Only representative ilhan OMAR was born outside the U.S. She came when she was 12 years old as a refugee from Somalia. Today, the president denied his tweets were racist. As far as I'm concerned, if you hate our country and you're not happy here, you can leave. That's what I said in a tweet, which I guess some people think is controversial. A lot of people love it, by the way. A lot of people love it. Reporter: Among those who love it? White supremacists. One prominent website today saying, "This is the kind of white nationalism we elected him for." Does it concern you that many people saw that tweet as racist and that white nationalist groups are finding common cause with you on that point? It doesn't concern me, because many people agree with me. Reporter: Tonight, the four congresswomen at the center of the controversy, showing a united front. This is the agenda of white nationalists. Whether it is happening in chat Ros, or it's Happ happening on national TV, and now its reached the white house garden. Sadly, this is not the first nor will it be the last time we hear disgusting bigoted language from the president. We know this is who he is. We don't leave the things that we love. And when we love this country, what that means is that we propose the solutions to fix it. Reporter: President trump has a history of race baiting. He spent years championing the false birther conspiracy theory that president Obama was actually born in Kenya. He launched his presidential campaign calling Mexicans rapists. And there was this response to those neo-nazi protests in charlottesville two years ago. You had some very bad people in that group. Is but you also had people that were, very fine people, on both sides. Reporter: So far, only a handful of Republicans coming forward to denounce the president's tweets. The party's only African American senator, Tim Scott, calling them "Unacceptable personal attacks and racially offensive language." But most of the president's colleagues trying to dodge the controversy altogether. I hadn't read that but I will check it out. And Cecilia Vega with us live at the white house. And Cecilia, house speaker Nancy Pelosi is now promising tonight that the house will soon vote to condemn the president for these tweets? Reporter: David, she is calling for a resolution to denounce what she calls the president's, quote, disgraceful and seine phonetic language and now calling on Republicans to join in on that vote. She also said that the president's make America great again slogan is -- she says it's always been making America, quote, white again. David? Cecilia Vega leading us off tonight.
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