The British presenter revealed on air that she herself had been told to ‘go back to where I came from’ – describing such comments as ’embedded in racism’.
While she did not directly call the President a racist, as many including the U.S. House of Representatives have done, Munchetty said she was ‘furious’ to hear Mr Trump’s language and predicted that ‘lots of people in this country’ would agree.
Mr Trump has refused to back down on his comments, insisting they were not racist.
On the BBC this morning, Munchetty and fellow host Dan Walker spoke to Trump Victory 2020 campaigner Jan Halper-Hayes, who insisted the President is ‘not a racist’.
After the interview, Munchetty said: ‘Every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism.
‘Now, I’m not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean.’
Saying she was ‘furious’ to hear Mr Trump’s comments, she went on: ‘I can imagine that lots of people in this country will be feeling absolutely furious that a man in that position feels it’s OK to skirt the lines in using language like that.’
Dan Walker asked her if Mr Trump’s language ‘legitimises other people to use it’, to which she replied: ‘Yes.
‘It’s not enough to do it just to get attention. He’s in a responsible position.’
Munchetty, who grew up in south London, has Indian and Mauritian heritage.
She has previously spoken up about the ‘racist, sexist or bigoted comments’ she receives as a prominent non-white broadcaster.
‘I’m on telly, I’m in your home, so if you want to criticise me, fine. But I’m not there to be abused. Nobody is there to be abused,’ she said in 2016.
The latest row erupted on Sunday when Mr Trump took aim at the congresswomen ‘who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world’.
He suggested: ‘Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.’
The BBC’s Naga Munchetty (pictured left) voiced her fury at Donald Trump (pictured right at the White House yesterday) after he told four non-white women to ‘go back’
While Mr Trump did not name the four, he was clearly taking aim at congresswomen
All four are American citizens. Only Ms Omar was born abroad.
His comments have sparked waves of outrage, and yesterday the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution to condemn his ‘racist comments’.
Far from backing down, the President has intensified his attacks on the women in recent days, accusing them of ‘hating America’ and ‘spewing some of the most vile, hateful and disgusting things ever said by a politician’.
Responding to the backlash, Mr Trump insisted he does not have a ‘racist bone in my body’.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez hit back at that statement yesterday, saying: ‘You’re right, Mr. President – you don’t have a racist bone in your body.
Speaking out: The BBC’s Naga Munchetty (pictured on BBC Breakfast today with Dan Walker) said she herself had been told to ‘go back to where she came from’
‘You have a racist mind in your head, and a racist heart in your chest.’
Ms Omar accused Mr Trump of wanting to ‘divide our country’, saying: ‘We will not allow his latest attacks distract us from working to ensure a brighter future for all.’
All four of the congresswomen have called for Mr Trump’s impeachment and removal from office.
Today, Texas Democrat Al Green is pushing to begin the impeachment process in the U.S. House of Representatives.
If the House voted to impeach Mr Trump, he would go to a ‘trial’ in the Senate where a two-thirds majority could turf him out of office.
However, the Senate is controlled by Mr Trump’s Republicans, so the chances of removing him are remote.
Some 2020 presidential candidates including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have backed impeachment hearings.
But the party leadership including House leader Nancy Pelosi have taken a careful line, believing it is doomed to fail and fearing it could harm the party’s chances in 2020.
Targets: The four congresswomen who were the subject of Mr Trump’s attack – from left, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib – at a news conference in Washington yesterday
Keeping her distance from the latest effort, Pelosi said today: ‘We’ll deal with that resolution on the floor.’
Before Tuesday’s House vote Pelosi antagonized Republicans when she called on all lawmakers to ‘join us in condemning the president’s racist tweets.’
Mr Trump appears to believe that the Democrats will suffer in 2020 if they are forced to embrace the four firebrand left-wingers.
Their backing for an ambitious Green New Deal has caused some division in the party, while Ms Omar has found herself in hot water over alleged anti-Semitism in the past.
However, Mr Trump’s strategy could also backfire, as a poll today showed a majority of Americans say his tweets were ‘un-American’.
According to the USAToday/Ipsos poll, two-thirds agree that telling minority Americans to ‘go back to where they came from’ is racist.
Democratic congressional leader Nancy Pelosi (pictured) has tried to quell enthusiasm for impeaching Donald Trump, an effort which is unlikely to succeed
Mr Trump has a long history of pandering to white prejudice. Before he entered politics, he promoted the bogus theory that his predecessor Barack Obama was not born in the United States.
The ‘birther’ theory, intended to undermine the first black President, is entirely false.
His long-shot presidential campaign was built on hostility to immigrants from the very start. In his announcement speech, he called Mexican migrants ‘rapists’ and said they were ‘bringing drugs and crime’.
In 2017, Mr Trump faced a huge backlash when he said there were ‘very fine people’ on ‘both sides’ of a deadly clash involving white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia.
His comments were widely seen as a failure to condemn the neo-Nazis who had marched through the city.
Last year, during a private White House meeting on immigration, the President wondered why the United States was admitting so many immigrants from ‘sh*thole countries’ like African nations.
Texas Democrat Al Green (pictured speaking in the House of Representatives yesterday)
In Britain, Theresa May labelled the President’s latest comments ‘completely unacceptable’, in an unusually strong rebuke just days before she leaves office.
Both contenders for the Tory leadership, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, also condemned Mr Trump but stopped short of calling him racist.
Mr Johnson has recently had warm relations with the President, who called the Tory politician a ‘very talented person’ and said the former London mayor would do a ‘very good job’ as Prime Minister.
Mr Johnson was also accused of taking the President’s side in the diplomatic row which led to Kim Darroch’s resignation as ambassador to Washington.
However, Mr Johnson took a sterner tone with Mr Trump in this week’s leadership debate – in a sign of the difficulty that he, like other European leaders, will have in negotiating the President’s temper if he becomes Prime Minister.