NEW YORK (CBS) – Appearing on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” Tuesday night, Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley explained why she only refers to President Donald Trump as “the occupant” of the White House. Pressley is part of “The Squad” – four Democratic Congresswomen of color targeted by Trump in tweets that the House of Representatives condemned as racist.
“I call him the occupant. He is just occupying space,” Pressley said. “We went from a president who sang ‘Amazing Grace’ to one who displays zero of it.”
The freshman representative said Trump “does not honor the integrity or the responsibility or the empathy or the compassion” of the presidency.
“And so for that reason I call him ‘the occupant,’ not because I dishonor the office but because he does,” Pressley said.
Back in July, Trump suggested that Representatives Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib should “go back” to the countries they came from, even though all are American citizens and only Omar is foreign-born. He has also called them a “very racist group of troublemakers.”
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Pressley said she tries to focus more on the administration’s policies, but she did connect the president’s words to the El Paso, Texas shooting that killed 22 people and is being investigated as a hate crime.
“It does embolden really bad things and endangers people’s lives,” Pressley said. “I think El Paso happened because of that kind of hateful and xenophobic and racist rhetoric.”
In a lighter moment, Colbert asked who had the more powerful “squad” – Taylor Swift or Pressley.
“Obviously ours. . . we have oversight capabilities,” Pressley said. “Oh Stephen, look what you made me do.”