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US House condemns Trump’s attacks on four congresswomen

The US House of Representatives has voted to symbolically condemn President Donald Trump after a series of attacks aimed at four congresswomen.

The resolution denounced Mr Trump’s “racist comments that have legitimised fear and hatred of New Americans and people of colour”.

Mr Trump had been accused of racism and xenophobia for telling the members of congress to leave the country.

The president has since tweeted: “I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!”

Tuesday’s vote passed by 240 votes to 187 in the Democratic-controlled chamber. Four Republicans and the chamber’s sole independent, former Republican lawmaker Justin Amash, joined all 235 Democrats to approve the resolution.

Texas congressman Will Hurd – the only African American Republican – was joined by his Pennsylvania member Brian Fitzpatrick, Michigan member Fred Upton and Indiana member Susan Brooks.

In a series of tweets on Sunday, the president said Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” and should “go back”.

Mr Trump did not explicitly name the women – all four of whom are US citizens – in his initial Twitter tirade, but the context made a clear link to the four Democratic congresswomen, who are known as The Squad.

The congresswomen dismissed the comments as a distraction on Monday, and urged people instead to focus on policies rather than the president’s words.

A rancorous debate preceded the vote. Democrat John Lewis said that “at the highest level of government, there’s no room for racism”, while Republican Dan Meuser called the allegations a “ridiculous slander”.

Immediately after the resolution passed Democratic Representative Al Green filed articles of impeachment against President Trump. The Democratic leadership has refused to pursue impeachment, despite increasing calls from members of their party to do so.

Reading from his resolution, the Texas congressman said Mr Trump had “brought the high office of the President of the United States into contempt, ridicule, disgrace and disrepute”.

President Trump tweeted about the vote, praising “how unified the Republican Party was” in voting against the resolution and again attacking the four women for “the horrible things they said about our country, Israel, and much more”. BBC