Asked if he would stop his supporters from chanting “send them back” about four minority lawmakers at a Thursday night rally, President Trump said that he doesn’t know if he can stop his racist supporters from carrying out the chant.
“I prefer that they don’t,” Trump told reporters at the White House before departing for the rally in Cincinnati.
“If they do the chant, we’ll see what happens,” the president said. “I don’t know that you can stop people … If they do it, we’ll have to make a decision then.”
Trump added the rally venue is a “very large one,” appearing to suggest that he may not hear the chant if it breaks out.
“The arenas a very large one and we’ve sold it out,” Trump bragged to reporters. “We can probably sell it out ten times from what I hear. The applications for seats as you know, never had an empty seat, the applications are very big,” Trump claimed.
“We have a great group of people, they love our country,” he said about his supporters.
The rally is taking place at the 17,500-seat U.S. Bank Arena.
Before heading to Cincinnati rally, President Trump says he doesn't know if he can stop his supporters from a chant like "Send her back": "I don't know that you can stop people…I'd prefer that they don't, but if they do it, we'll have to make a decision then" pic.twitter.com/p6EOLuaTaW
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 1, 2019
Trump faced widespread criticism for not doing more to stop the racist attack on Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Somali-born congresswoman, at a campaign rally two weeks ago.
The chant at the Greenville, North Carolina rally followed racist tweets Trump sent against Omar and three other first-term lawmakers of color, instructing them to get out of the U.S. “right now” and saying if the lawmakers “hate our country,” they can go back to their “broken and crime-infested” countries.