President Donald Trump contradicted multiple reports that claimed First Lady Melania Trump and White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump privately objected to the racist “Send her back!” chants the president’s supporters directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar at his rally in North Carolina on Wednesday.
Trump stood by silently for a full 13-seconds as thousands of his supporters chanted “Send her back!” at his rally just days after he urged four congresswomen of color to “go back” to the “crime infested” countries they came from.
Anonymous leaks to several news outlets on Thursday said that Ivanka and Melania Trump had objected privately to Trump about the chants.
According to The New York Times, “Mr. Trump’s inner circle immediately appreciated the gravity of the rally scene and quickly urged him to repudiate the chant. Ms. Trump, his elder daughter and senior adviser, spoke to the president about it on Thursday morning, the people familiar with the discussions said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.”
And CBS News reported that Trump “took a lot of heat from his family over the racist chants,” and that “He heard from first lady Melania Trump, his daughter Ivanka and Vice President Mike Pence.”
But on Friday, the president pushed back on those reports, calling them “fake news.”
During an impromptu gaggle on the South Lawn of the White House,
When asked by a reporter: “What did the First Lady and Ivanka advise you about the chant? I know you guys talked about it…” Trump interrupted.
“False information,” he said. “It was fake news.”
“You never talked about it with her?” the reporter pressed.
“Nope,” Trump said, and added “We — I talked about it, but they didn’t advise me. They told me, but I didn’t…”
The reporter asked Trump what they did say, but Trump insisted, “By the way, what you’re saying? Fake news.”