Johnson And Hunt Condemn Trump 'Go Home' Tweet But Refuse To Call It Racist

US president told a group of mainly American-born congresswomen to "go back" to the "crime infested places from which they came".

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have condemned Donald Trump’s “go home” tweet about US congresswomen but refused to call it racist.

The US president sparked fresh anger with a racist rant about the four ethnic minority Democrats on Sunday, telling them to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”.

Trump appeared to be referring to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. They were all born in the US, apart from Omar who moved there from Somalia aged ten.

Theresa May earlier branded the comments “completely unacceptable” and was backed by Johnson and Hunt during a Tory leadership debate on Monday night.

But both men refused to call the tweet racist despite widespread calls to do so.

Johnson told the debate, hosted by the Sun and TalkRadio: “I think that relations between the UK and the US are incredibly important but if you’re the leader of a great multiracial, multicultural society you simply cannot use that kind of language about sending people back to where they came from.

“That went out decades and decades ago, thank heavens for that.

“It’s totally unacceptable, I agree with the prime minister, not for the first time.”

But he stopped short of calling the tweet racist when asked.

“I’ve said what I’ve said. I think it was totally unacceptable in a modern multiracial country which you are trying to lead,” Johnson said.

“I simply can’t understand how a leader of that country could come to say it.”

Asked why he would not condemn the comments as racist, Johnson replied: “You can take from what I’ve said what I think about president Trump’s words.”

Hunt, whose wife is Chinese, said he agreed with May that Trump’s comments were “completely unacceptable”.

“I have three half Chinese children and they are British citizens born on the NHS and if anyone ever said to them go back to China I would be utterly appalled,” he said.

“It is totally un-British to do that and so I hope that would never happen in this country.”

But he claimed he could not call the tweet racist because he is Britain’s top diplomat.

“Look, I’m foreign secretary this is the president of the country which happens to be our closest ally, and so it is not going to help the situation to use that kind of language about the president of the United States,” Hunt said.

“I can understand how many people in this country would want politicians like me to use those words and would feel that sentiment but I will make absolutely clear, I hope I have made absolutely clear how totally offensive it is to me that people are still saying that kind of thing.”

Earlier, Lib Dem leadership candidate Jo Swinson said Trump was a racist.

And Labour MP David Lammy said failing to call the tweet racist marked “complicity” with Trump’s views.

He said: “Too often people are more allergic to the term racism than the acts of racism themselves. Trump’s tweets, calling for congresswomen of colour to ‘go back’, were not “racially-charged” or “racially-loaded.” They were racist. Silence is complicity.”


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