Trump took heat from Melania and Ivanka over racist "send her back" chants at rally – CBS News

Washington — CBS News has learned President Trump took a lot of heat from his family over the racist chants at a campaign rally in North Carolina on Wednesday. He heard from first lady Melania Trump, his daughter Ivanka and Vice President Mike Pence.

Mr. Trump on Thursday disavowed the chants of “send her back” and said he tried to stop it. “Well, number one, I think I did, I started speaking very quickly,” he said.

But the video tells a different story. The president stands in silence for nearly 15 seconds, looking around the arena. When Mr. Trump resumed his speech, he made no mention of the chant, which started after he attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar. 

The rally left Republicans once again answering for the president. CBS News learned that Mr. Trump spoke to several members of his inner circle about how to react to the chant. He weighed the pros and cons of softening his tone, worried supporters would not like it.

But ultimately, he declared unhappiness. Congressional Republicans also expressed concerns to Pence and asked him to relay the message to the president.

Omar is one of the four Democratic congresswomen of color who Mr. Trump told to “go back” to their original countries. All are U.S. citizens and only Omar was born outside the U.S.

Trump: “I’m not happy” with “send her back” chant

Mr. Trump was asked Thursday why his supporters chanted “send her back.” 

“What I would suggest, you go there, go to North Carolina and you ask the people why did they say that,” he said.

So CBS News did. Arnold Wright attended the rally and said the president wasn’t there to hurt anyone’s feelings.

The president said he would try to stop the chant if it comes up again. But Omar said the damage is done

“When you have a president who clearly thinks someone like me should ‘go back,’ the message that he’s sending is not for me, it’s to every single person who shares an identity with me,” Omar said.


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