President Donald Trump attacked four Democratic US lawmakers -- who are of Hispanic, Arab, Somali and African American origin -- urging them to "go back" to their countries

Washington (AFP) - US President Donald Trump strongly denied accusations of racism on Tuesday after launching a xenophobic attack on a group of ethnic minority Democratic congresswomen.

“Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” tweeted Trump, as US lawmakers prepared to vote on a resolution condemning his “racist comments.”

In a series of tweets launched on Sunday attacking the four lawmakers – who are of Hispanic, Arab, Somali and African American origin – Trump urged them to “go back” to their countries of origin.

Democratic leaders have roundly condemned Trump’s comments, and rallied around the lawmakers – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley, who with the exception of Omar were all born in the United States.

Slamming the “so-called vote” scheduled for later Tuesday as a “Democrat con game,” Trump urged his fellow Republicans not to “show ‘weakness’ and fall into their trap.”

“This should be a vote on the filthy language, statements and lies told by the Democrat Congresswomen, who I truly believe, based on their actions, hate our Country,” the president wrote.

“Get a list of the HORRIBLE things they have said.”

“Nancy Pelosi tried to push them away, but now they are forever wedded to the Democrat Party,” Trump added, in a jab at the House leader who, until now, had a tenuous relationship with the four left-leaning first-term congresswomen.

“See you in 2020!” said the president.