Trump branded fascist in racism row

US Representative Ilhan Omar branded Donald Trump a fascist as the president sought to distance himself from racist chants at his campaign rally.

“I believe he is fascist,” Omar told reporters on Capitol Hill.

“I want to remind people that this is what this president and his supporters have turned our country that is supposed to be a country that we allow democratic debate and dissent to take place,” she said. “So this is not about me, this about us fighting for what this country truly should be.”

Her comments come less than 24 hours after a crowd of Trump supporters chanted “send her back, send her back” as the president gave a speech at a campaign rally.

Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House on Thursday, said he “felt a little bit badly about it”, referring to the chants.

But Trump did not stop the crowd, and let the chants continue as he took a long pause.

In a rare vote earlier this week, the House of Representatives condemned Trump’s racist weekend tweets against Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, in which he told them to “go back” to where they came from. All four are US citizens – three were born in the US and Omar entered the country as a child refugee. 

The four women said they would not be silenced, and said that Trump’s tweets and rhetoric are a distraction from the issues they’re working on including, immigration, healthcare and education.

Trump made it clear at the campaign rally that he plans to make inflammatory attacks on Omar and her three fellow left-leaning Democrats a centerpiece of his 2020 re-election strategy.

The most recent issue of racism that lead to Trump branded a fascist started with a three-tweet racist rant and follows a rebuke of the president by UK Prime Minister Theresa May