The president’s tweets have pushed people even further into two camps – those who love him, and those who hate him.
In Leesburg, Virginia, the two camps are represented, with both sides equally passionate in their views.
Susy Moorstein, an antique dealer, says that she’s scared after seeing his tweets. “They’re beyond the pale.” She adds: “It just brings out the worst in everyone.”
Moorstein spoke about the president and his tweets while standing in an alleyway in downtown Leesburg, a town that is located about 40 miles from Washington. “We have racial issues in the country that we’re trying to work through, and he just constantly seems to antagonise,” says Moorstein.
She says she voted for the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 presidential election – it was not so much a vote for Clinton, she says, but a vote against Trump.
Moorstein says that she finds the president’s comments about the lawmakers, all Democrats, and his public statements, words that she characterises as racist, deeply upsetting. “It’s very scary,” she says, explaining that sometimes she feels as though she is in the midst of a bad dream.
The row began on Sunday when Trump wrote on social media that lawmakers who criticise the US should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done”.
His insult was directed at four female members of Congress – Ilhan Omar of Minnesota; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of Queens, New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan; and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, all of whom are women of colour.