Trump says he's opposed to Omar 'send her back' chants

'I didn't say that,' Trump said. 'They did. It was quite a chant and I felt a little bit badly about it.'

Sara Rubenstein ,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he disagrees with the "send her back" chants referring to Dem. Rep. Ilhan Omar by his supporters at a campaign rally. "I was not happy with it. I disagree with it," Trump told reporters.

"I didn't say that," Trump continued. "They did. It was quite a chant and I felt a little bit badly about it."

Trump had slammed "the squad" of four Democratic Congresswoman at a campaign rally on Wednesday in North Carolina for what he deemed offensive comments showing that they hate America. All four congresswomen, who are all women of color, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, were born in the US except for Omar, who was born in Somalia. Omar, who recently introduced a pro-BDS resolution in the House, was the subject of the most biting criticism by Trump. The crowd responded by chanting, "Send her back! Send her back!"

The chants were sharply condemned by politicians, including Republicans. Conservative commentator and The Daily Wire host Ben Shapiro said "chanting for her deportation based on her exercise of the First Amendment is disgusting."

Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL) said that the chants "would send chills down the spines of our Founding Fathers."

Head of the House's Republican campaign organization Rep. Tom Emmer said that "there’s no place for that kind of talk. I don't agree with it." But he also defended Trump, explaining that there "isn't a racist bone in this president's body" but that the President didn't properly express what he meant. "What he was trying to say is that if you don’t appreciate this country, you don’t have to be here," Emmer said.

"That goes for every one of us," Emmer continued. "It has nothing to do with your race, your gender, your family history. It has to do with respecting and loving the country that has given you the opportunities which you have."

Omar reacted to the chants on Twitter by quoting a poem by famous African-American author Maya Angelou and posting a picture of herself at the House of Representatives entitled, "I am where I belong."