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President Trump on Thursday denied responsibility for the "send her back" chant directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) at a North Carolina campaign rally on Wednesday, and falsely claimed that he "started speaking very quickly" to cut off the chant after it began.

REPORTER: Are you concerned with your supporters chanting "Send her back" about Congresswoman Omar, that it puts her in danger?
TRUMP: I have tremendous support. I wasn't happy with that message they gave last night. That was a packed arena. ... I think we have far more support than they do and we have far more energy than they do and we're going to have a very interesting election. But I was not happy when I heard that chant."
REPORTER: Why did they do it?
TRUMP: You would have to ask them. What I would suggest, I was not happy with it, but what I would suggest, you go there, go to North Carolina, and you ask the people why did they say that. But that's what they said.
REPORTER: You'll stop them if they try to do it again?
TRUMP: I didn't like that they did it and I started speaking very quickly. Excuse me. Really? If you would have heard, there was a tremendous amount of noise and action and everything else. I started very quickly. And I think you know that. Maybe you're giving me too much credit.

Reality check: Trump let the chant go on for about 13 seconds before speaking again at the rally on Wednesday night. The chant was indisputably inspired by his racist attacks on Omar and other progressive women of color on Sunday, in which he argued that they should "go back" and help fix the places where they came from instead of criticizing the U.S.

  • Omar, who came to the U.S. as a teenage refugee from Somalia, is the only one of the four lawmakers born outside of the country. She is a naturalized citizen and a democratically-elected member of Congress.

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Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

Putin takes a call in 2017. Photo: Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies, AP reports.

The state of play: Biden also planned to raise arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who said the call took place while she was delivering a press briefing. Psaki added that a full readout will be provided later Tuesday.

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.

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