Ayanna Pressley Won’t Call Donald Trump the President

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2019/07/15/ayanna-pressley-wont-call-donald-trump-the-president/

U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley says she won’t refer to Donald Trump as the president of the United States but rather as “the occupant of our White House.”

Pressley (D-Dorchester) made the comment during a press conference Monday afternoon responding to the president’s criticism of her and three other hard-left members of Congress who call themselves “The Squad.”

“From our colleagues, to our neighbors, we are grateful for your solidarity, your encouragement and your support in the face of the most recent xenophobic, bigoted remarks from the occupant of our White House. I will always refer to him as ‘the occupant’ as he is only occupying space. He does not embody the grace, the empathy, the compassion, the integrity that that office requires and that the American people deserve,” Pressley said.

Pressley and the other three Democratic members of Congress – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan – were responding to tweets the president posted early Sunday morning targeting them:


All four members of Congress are U.S. citizens. Only Oman was born in a foreign country (Somalia). Ocasio-Cortez, who is Puerto Rican, was born in the Bronx in New York City, which is the congressional district she represents. Tlaib, who is a Palestinian, was born in Detroit.

Pressley, an African-American, was born in Cincinnati and raised in Chicago before moving to Boston in the early 1990s. She served as a Boston city councilor from 2010 until earlier this year.

Pressley did not mention the president’s name, but criticized him sharply.

“That being said, I encourage the American people and all of us in this room and beyond to not take the bait. This is a disruptive distraction from the issues of care, concern, and consequence to the American people that we were sent here with a decisive mandate from our constituents to work on. Everything from reducing the cost of prescription drugs to addressing our affordable housing crisis, to ensuring that the American people have more than health insurance, but health care,” Pressley said.

Pressley, who has the lowest profile of the four, spoke first during the 22-minute press conference, which was carried live by major news networks.

While she criticized what she called “the callous, chaotic, and corrupt culture of this administration all the way down,” Pressley’s comments were the mildest of the four. She didn’t mention impeaching Trump.

Oman and Tlaib called Trump’s comments racist and renewed calls for impeaching Trump, something House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking Democrat in the federal government, has opposed.

Oman, asked to respond to Trump’s charge that she is pro-al Quaeda, refused to respond, saying, “I will not dignify it with an answer.”

She accused Trump of having “an ideology of othering.”

Trump in the late afternoon doubled down on his previous comments: