Trump's Remarks Against Congresswomen Just a 'Warm Up' Strategy for Attacking Kamala Harris in 2020: MSNBC Guest

An MSNBC guest this weekend claimed that President Donald Trump's latest attacks against four Democratic congresswomen is just part of a "warm-up" strategy for attacking Kamala Harris in 2020.

During an MSNBC segment on Sunday afternoon discussing Trump's recent attacks on freshman progressive lawmakers — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley — Democratic strategist Don Calloway speculated that Trump attacked the congresswomen to prepare for a possible match-up against 2020 presidential hopeful Kamala Harris.

The Washington Post recently reported that "the president had openly discussed going after the four progressives congresswomen before sending out those tweets, saying that he wants to elevate those four and telling advisers they were good foils," the host said to Calloway. "Do you think he fully understood what he was doing? Or do you think this backlash has caught him by surprise over this last week?"

"I'm not one to ascribe a strategy to the president when it's clear he's not a very deep thinker, but he is, however, in campaign mode," the Democratic strategist explained. "I see this as a good campaign device for him to gin up his base, fueled by xenophobia and race-based hatred."

He continued: "I see this as an early proxy for what he will probably intend to do in terms of otherizing and isolating Kamala Harris, should she get the [Democratic 2020] nomination next fall. This is just the shoot-around or the warm-up for that, if you will."

Trump, last weekend, urged four members of the so-called "squad," all first-term lawmakers, all women of color, to "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came," in a series of tweets. Although the president implied that the congresswomen were all foreign-born, all but one were born in America. Congresswoman Omar was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, and moved to the U.S. at a young age after her family fled from their home nation.

Calloway on Sunday weighed in on whether Trump's tweets were motivated by racism.

"We've got to reach a point where thinking adults realize that, just because you're not wearing a white hood and have a swastika tattoo on your forehead, you can still be a racist," he said. "There's no question remaining in the minds of reasonable individuals that this president is a racist, and it doesn't start with this tenure as president."

Trump doubled-down on his attacks of the Democrats, especially Omar, during his campaign rally speech in Greenville, North Carolina on Wednesday. "These left-wing ideologues see our nation as a force of evil," the president declared to an enthusiastic crowd. "The way they speak so badly of our country... You have to look at some of their recent comments, which are never talked about."

"Representative Omar blamed the United States for the terrorist attacks on our country, saying that terrorism is a reaction to our involvement in other people's affairs," Trump continued. "She smeared U.S. service members involved in Black Hawk down. In other words, she slandered the brave Americans who were trying to keep peace in Somalia."

The crowd encouraged the president's remarks by loudly chanting "Send her back!," referring to Omar.

While Trump did nothing to stop the chant, he moved to disavow the crowd's sentiments a day later, following an onslaught of outrage.

"I was not happy with it. I disagree with it," the president said Thursday, referring to the chants. "I didn't say that; they did."

Watch the MSNBC segment below:

Donald Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump walks out of the White House before departing July 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. Democratic strategist Don Calloway on Sunday said the president's recent racist attacks against four Democratic congresswomen is merely a "warm up" strategy to prepare himself for a possible Kamala Harris Democratic nomination in 2020. Chip Somodevilla/Getty