Before leaving the White House for a trip to Cincinnati, Ohio, for a Thursday night campaign rally, President Donald Trump told reporters that he prefers not to hear any “send her back” chants from the rally crowd this time around.
“I prefer that they don’t,” Trump told reporters who asked about the rant.
The president also didn’t say if he would attempt to shush the crowd should they break into a similar chant as the one heard last month during a North Carolina campaign rally.
“If they do the chant, we’ll see what happens,” Trump said. “I don’t know that you can stop people … If they do it, we’ll have to make a decision then.”
Thursday night’s rally will be held at the 17,500-seat U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati and Trump indicated that even if the crowd did the chant, he might not even hear it due to the large crowd capacity, according to The Hill.
Controversy erupted after a Greenville, North Carolina, rally crowd loudly chanted “Send her back” last month in reference to Rep. Ilhan Omar — a minority lawmaker who Trump hammered during the rally.
The president initially repudiated the crowd’s chant but not long after, he backed off of condemning them for the chant.
According to the Associated Press, Vice President Mike Pence was asked what would happen if the Ohio rally crowd repeats what happened in North Carolina.
“If it happened again, he might make an effort to speak out about it,” Pence said.
Rep. Steve Chabot, a Republican lawmaker who represents a Cincinnati-area district, urged Thursday night’s rally crowd to not partake in the chant, calling it “inappropriate.”
“I would discourage the crowd from doing anything inappropriate and I think saying something like that would be inappropriate,” Chabot warned.
He added that if it does happen, he hopes the president will silence the crowd.
“I would hope that the president would silence the crowd, tell them: ‘Hey, don’t do that, there’s no place for that. It’s not helpful, it’s not right.'”
— The Hill (@thehill) August 1, 2019
Omar is one of four progressive lawmakers who make up what’s popularly known as “the squad,” which also includes Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib.
All four female lawmakers have been targeted by Trump via Twitter, and have also been blasted by conservative pundits and Trump supporters.
Trump originally ignited a social media firestorm after he suggested the four lawmakers “go back” to their countries of origin if they weren’t happy with the current state of the country. Three of the four were born in the United States.
The tweet drew immediate and harsh retorts from Democratic lawmakers, who eventually passed a resolution in the House condemning the president’s remarks.