The four US congresswomen attacked by US President Donald Trump in tweets critics call racist have dismissed his remarks as a distraction.
Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib urged the US people “not to take the bait” at a Monday press conference.
Mr Trump suggested the four women – all US citizens – “can leave”.
He has defended his comments and denied allegations of racism.
Addressing reporters, the four women all said the focus should be on policy and not the president’s words.
“This is simply a disruption and a distraction from the callous chaos and corrupt culture of this administration, all the way down,” Ms Pressley said.
Both Ms Omar and Ms Tlaib repeated their calls for Mr Trump to be impeached.
Their response comes after Mr Trump launched a Twitter tirade on Sunday, telling the four women – three of whom were born in the US and one, Ms Omar, who was born in Somalia – to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”.
His remarks have been widely condemned as racist and xenophobic.
What did the congresswomen say?
Ms Pressley dismissed the president’s efforts “to marginalise us and to silence us”, adding that they were “more than four people”.
“Our squad is big. Our squad includes any person committed to building a more equitable and just world,” she said.
The four congresswomen, all newly elected in 2018, are sometimes referred to as The Squad.
All four women insisted that health care, gun violence, and in particular detentions of migrants on the US border with Mexico should be in focus.
“The eyes of history are watching us,” said Ms Omar said, decrying the “mass deportation raids” and “human rights abuses at the border”.