17:17 GMT02 December 2020
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    Wednesday night, US President Donald Trump revved up his rhetoric against members of “The Squad” and was met with a crowd cheering for Rep. Ilhan Omar’s deportation. Despite disagreeing with the chants, Trump stands by his initial tweets, which some say came about due to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s own lack of leadership.

    Over the past week, Trump has had to answer for his July 14 tweets aimed at progressive Democratic Reps. Omar (Minnesota), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York), Rashida Tlaib (Michigan) and Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts), also known as “The Squad.”

    At the conclusion of his rant against the women of color, Trump said, “I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”

    Trump’s mention of Pelosi did not come out of nowhere, as the speaker gave a candid interview with New York Times op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd earlier in the month in which she dismissed the power of “The Squad.”

    “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” Pelosi said of the congresswomen. “But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people, and that’s how many votes they got.”

    Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, joined Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear on Thursday to provide her reaction to Trump’s North Carolina campaign rally and reveal why she believes Pelosi is partially to blame for Trump’s rhetoric.

    “Let’s call this what it was: this was an anti-immigrant, anti-people of color, pretty much a Klan rally almost, and if anybody is still saying that Trump and his supporters and the people who vote for him are not racist, I have nothing civil to say to those people anymore,” Luqman told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou.

    Luqman went on to say that while Trump’s rally and rhetoric play a big part in making things unsafe for the four congresswomen, Pelosi “equally” shoulders some of the blame, as she called them out to begin with.

    “She comes out and diminishes their impact, saying, ‘Look, these are just four women, and that’s how many votes they got on some recent piece of legislation,’” the editor pointed out.

    Even Rep. Pramila Jayapal, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, criticized Pelosi’s remarks prior to Trump’s July 14 tweets.

    “I don’t think those comments were helpful to a broader picture of how we build progressive power in the House and what it looks like relative to overall Democratic power,” Jayapal said on a panel at the Netroots Nation conference in Philadelphia.

    “She’s been very disrespectful,” Luqman said of Pelosi, adding that the four congresswomen gave the speaker “too much” deference in the beginning. “Pelosi, she was the foil in this story. She was the original villain. She opened the door for this, knowing how Trump is a media manipulator. He built his career on this.”

    Luqman said that while she understands that Pelosi may be hesitant to back Trump’s impeachment based on numbers or political strategy, the speaker should look at the call for impeachment in terms of “right and wrong.”

    “It just makes the Democratic Party look spineless and weak, and it really does make her look ineffective. And again, it plays right into Donald Trump’s hands,” the editor asserted. “Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party are bungling their response to Trump’s racist and xenophobic tweets, but, like I said, the Democratic Party and Nancy Pelosi have been bungling their whole relationship with these four congresswomen and other members of the Progressive Caucus within their party.”

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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