Trump to conservative teens: Rep. Tlaib is a 'crazed lunatic'

The president attacked the Michigan congresswoman and other Democrats on Tuesday. “I believe they hate our country," he said.
Image: Donald Trump
President Donald Trump at Turning Point USA's Teen Student Action Summit in Washington on Tuesday. Andrew Harnik / AP

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By Lauren Egan

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump attacked Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., on Tuesday, telling a gathering of young conservatives that she is a “crazed lunatic.”

“There’s no way she stands for the values of the people of Michigan,” Trump said of Tlaib, within the first few minutes of his speech at Turning Point USA's Teen Student Action Summit here. “She’s vicious. She’s like a crazed lunatic.”

Trump's slams on Tlaib drew loud cheers from the crowd of high school students in a Marriott hotel ballroom in downtown Washington.

“I believe they hate our country,” Trump said, referring to three of Tlaib’s Democratic colleagues, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, who together have been dubbed "the squad.”

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“This is representing us? This is not what we want representing us, I don’t think, and I think it’s why we’re going to have a tremendous victory in 2020,” he continued. "These people are crazy."

Trump claimed that Ocasio-Cortez called the United States “garbage” and argued that it was worse than referring to some of his supporters as “deplorable.”

“She said ‘garbage.’ That's worse than ‘deplorable.’ Remember ‘deplorable?’” he said, referring to comments Hillary Clinton made about some Trump supporters during her 2016 campaign.

Ocasio-Cortez did not use the term "garbage" to refer to the U.S. or to Americans, but to the alleged impact on the country of existing policies she does not support.

"I think all of these things sound radical compared to where we are," she said, referring to progressive ideas. "But where we are is not a good thing," she said at the South by Southwest festival earlier this year. "This idea of 10 percent better from garbage shouldn't be what we settle for. It feels like moderate is not a stance. It's just an attitude toward life of like, 'meh.'"

Trump, who has implied he will not be watching special counsel Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony in full on Wednesday, briefly alluded to the highly anticipated event during his speech on Tuesday.

"Then I have an Article Two, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president," Trump said, referring to the section of the U.S. Constitution describing the powers of the executive branch. “But ... I don’t even talk about that.”

Trump also congratulated Boris Johnson, known for his support of Brexit, for winning the party leadership contest earlier in the day, ensuring that he will be the next prime minister of the United Kingdom.

“We have a really good man who is going to be the prime minister,” Trump said. “Boris is good, he’s going to do a good job.”