Four congresswomen targeted in a series of racist attacks by Donald Trump, have urged Americans "not to take the bait", saying the president would "love nothing more than to divide the country". 

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar said: "This is the agenda of white nationalists... and now it's reached the White House."

On Sunday, President Trump ranted on Twitter that the four "can leave" if they don't like living in the US. 

It has been condemned as racist and xenophobic as three of the four - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley - are American-born but of non-white ethnicity, and the fourth, Ms Omar, came to the US as a refugee from Somalia aged 12.

In a press conference tonight, the politicians accused him of human rights abuses, racism and xenophobia and running the "the most corrupt administration in our history".

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It came hours after the two Tory leadership candidates echoed Prime Minister Theresa May’s criticism of Mr Trump over his controversial language, which she denounced as “completely unacceptable”.

In the last head-to-head hustings staged by The Sun, Jeremy Hunt branded the President’s words “totally offensive”.

The Foreign Secretary noted how he had three half-Chinese children who were British citizens and if such language was used about them, he would be “utterly appalled”. He declared: “It’s totally unBritish to do that.”

Boris Johnson, noting how the UK’s relationship with the US was incredibly important, said he agreed with Mrs May that the President’s words were “totally unacceptable” and said that, in a modern, multi-racial country, he “simply could not understand” how a leader could use such words.

Despite the row the US President caused, he returned to Twitter to unleash another attack on the four liberal congresswomen, denouncing them as a “bunch of Communists,” who hated America. He argued that it was they who should apologise.

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Mr Trump’s tirade began on Sunday night when he wrote: "So interesting to see 'progressive' Democrat congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world [if they even have a functioning government at all], now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful nation on earth, how our government is to be run.

"Why don't they 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,” he added.

While Mr Trump did not name the four women, he is believed to have been referring to the four Democratic congresswomen.

His comments led to a series of attacks from senior Democrats with presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren condemning the "racist and xenophobic attack" while former Texas representative Beto O'Rourke, another 2020 contender, declared: “This is racist.”

Ms Ocasio-Cortez suggested the President’s remarks were the “hallmark of white supremacists” and that it should concern all Americans that he was leading the Republicans into “outright racism”.

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Asked about Mr Trump’s words, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said: "Her view is that the language which was used to refer to the women was completely unacceptable."

Asked if Mrs May believed it to be racist, he replied: “I have nothing further to add.”

Ruth Davidson agreed with the PM’s condemnation, tweeting: "She's right. And both men vying to be her successor should say so."

Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrats’ deputy leader, tweeted: "The President of the United States is a racist. Every political leader should call this out. Will you @BorisJohnson?"

Earlier, Nicola Sturgeon had condemned the President’s comments. The First Minister said they were "not OK and diplomatic politeness should not stop us saying so, loudly and clearly".

On Monday, even as White House officials moved to defend Mr Trump’s incendiary weekend tweets, the US President took again to social media and suggested the “Radical Left Congresswomen" should "apologise to our country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said".

Hours after that he appeared once again on Twitter, saying: “We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of Communists, they hate Israel, they hate our own country, they’re calling the guards along our border [the Border Patrol Agents] concentration camp guards…

“They are anti-Semitic, they are anti-America, we don’t need to know anything about them personally, talk about their policies. I think they are American citizens who are duly elected that are running on an agenda that is disgusting, that the American people will reject...

“What does it mean for America to have free healthcare for Illegal Immigrants, no criminalisation of coming into our country. See how that works for controlling Immigration! They talk about Israel like they’re a bunch of thugs, not victims of the entire region.”

Ms Ocasio-Cortez, a New York City congresswoman, who is one of the most prominent Liberals in the Democratic Party, highlighted how very few prominent Republicans had condemned Mr Trump’s remarks.

She tweeted: “Until Republican officials denounce yesterday’s explicitly racist statements [which should be easy!], we sadly have no choice but to assume they condone it. It is extremely disturbing that the entire GOP caucus is silent. Is this their agenda?”