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Trump disavows chant

President Donald Trump on Thursday chided his supporters who chanted "send her back" when he questioned the loyalty of a Somali-born congresswoman, joining widespread criticism of the campaign crowd's cry after Republicans warned about political blowback from the angry scene.

In a week that has corkscrewed daily with hostile exchanges over race and love of country , Trump also claimed he had tried to stop the chant at a reelection event Wednesday night in North Carolina — though video shows otherwise. The crowd's "send her back" shouts resounded for 13 seconds as Trump made no attempt to interrupt them. He paused in his speech and surveyed the scene, taking in the uproar.

"I started speaking really quickly," he told reporters Thursday. "I was not happy with it. I disagree with it" and "would certainly try" to stop any similar chant at a future rally.

The taunt's target— Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota — responded defiantly Thursday. She told reporters at the Capitol that she believes the president is a "fascist" and cast the confrontation as a fight over "what this country truly should be."

"We are going to continue to be a nightmare to this president because his policies are a nightmare to us. We are not deterred. We are not frightened," she told a cheering crowd that greeted her like a local hero at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as she returned from Washington.

Trump's allies distanced themselves from the chant, fretting over the voters it might turn off in next year's election and beyond. Democrats, meanwhile, pointed to the episode as a rallying cry to energy and mobilize their supporters to vote Trump out of office.

"We are ready," Omar said to cheers, before heading to a town hall on Medicare for All.



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