July 15, 2019 3:30 PM EDT

President Donald Trump defended his attacks on four freshman Democrats at a White House event on manufacturing Monday, arguing that it was not racist to tweet that they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Over the weekend, Trump tweeted the criticism of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, all of whom are U.S. citizens and all but one of whom were born in the United States.

Democrats denounced the tweets, while Republicans mostly stayed silent. Then on Monday, Trump responded during a White House event, reiterating that it the lawmakers did not like U.S. policy “then you can leave.”

Below is a transcript of his remarks.

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