Colorado District Attorney George Brauchler says he found President Trump’s “Go Back” tweet “problematic,” but “didn’t see it as racist.” Rather he considered it an attack on the “national origin or perceived national origin” of the four freshman congresswomen of color known as “The Squad.”
The tweet to which Brauchler is referring was one of several President Trump posted on July 14 during a racist rant attacking Congresswomen Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. All four are U.S. citizens, and three were born in the United States.
Brauchler, who ran for Attorney General last year, serves as District Attorney of Colorado’s 18th Judicial District (Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert, and Lincoln Counties). He made his statements on talk radio station KHOW on this past Tuesday, July 16, while filling in for regular host Dan Caplis.
Brauchler made clear that he disagreed with the tweet, saying “it’s wrong to call out people for their national origin and try to tell them to leave the country, especially when they’re Americans.” However he stopped short of calling it racist.
ACLU of Colorado Public Policy Director Denise Maes echoed the sentiment of the national ACLU, which last week criticized the President for “spreading vile, racist tropes.”
In addition to making clear that the ACLU of Colorado considers Trump’s “go back” tweet to be racist, Maes expressed concern over Brauchler’s judgement as a prosecutor.
“If Brauchler had any real knowledge of history he would know better. ‘Go back to where you came from’ is code. There is no doubt it is racist. More so, it’s perception that matters for elected officials. I’m concerned that given District Attorney Brauchler’s view on this tweet and specifically his ignoring the fact hat perception matters, his prosecutorial decisions on civil rights matters may be a bit out of touch.”
Here’s an extended transcript of Brauchler’s statements, with timestamps corresponding to the full segment, which is available here.
[17:23] “I wanna be clear here: I do not agree with the tweet that he sent out. I think it’s wrong. I do not think what you do is call out people for their national origin and try to tell them to leave the country, especially when they’re Americans.”
[27:49] “This particular tweet, what was problematic for me, it wasn’t the racist part, because I didn’t see it as racist, I saw it as like an attack on their national origin or their perceived national origin.”
[29:12] “If everything is racism, then nothing is racism, and it keeps us from focusing on real racism and crushing it.”