Fox News host Shepard Smith bashed Donald Trump’s vicious attack on four U.S. congresswomen of color as a “misleading and xenophobic eruption of distraction and division.” Smith stopped short, however, of calling Trump’s ugly onslaught outright racism — but indicated he believed it was.

The attacks by Trump were “directed this time at a group of minority women in the United States Congress. ‘Go back to where you came from.’ That’s what the president wrote on Twitter just yesterday, and today he called them haters of America and Jews,” he added on “Shepard Smith Reporting” Monday.

“The president is defending those statements, and when asked if he thought the tweets might be racist, his response: ‘Not at all.’”

Trump insisted in tweets Sunday that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), all progressive Democrats, “came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” — and that they should “go back” to the “crime-infested place from which they came.” Smith interjected as he read the tweets on air: “Uh, they came from here.”

Three of the four women were born in the U.S., while Omar came to America as a child with her parents from Somalia and became a U.S. citizen. Tlaib was born in Detroit to immigrant parents. Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley, both born in the U.S., have more American ancestors than Trump, whose mother and paternal grandfather were immigrants.

Smith also quoted Fox News political analyst Brit Hume, who called Trump’s attacks “nativist, xenophobic, counterfactual and politically stupid.” (But Hume also said the attacks “simply do not meet the standard definition of racist.”)

Smith read a tweet from Ocasio-Cortez calling Trump’s words “go back to your own country” as “hallmark language of white supremacy.”

Check out the video clip up top.

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