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The Canadian leader replied to questions about Mr. Trump’s comments during a press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa northwest of Ottawa.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced U.S. President Donald Trump’s call for four minority lawmakers to “go back” and fix the “crime infested places from which they came.”

The Canadian leader replied to questions about Mr. Trump’s comments during a press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa northwest of Ottawa.

He was asked whether he considered Mr. Trump’s statements, made via Twitter, racist. The U.S. President had said four Democratic congresswomen should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” and “then come back and show us how it is done.”

“I think Canadians, and indeed people around the world, know exactly what I think of those comments,” Mr. Trudeau told reporters.

“That is not how we do things in Canada. A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian,” he said.

He said Canada’s ethnically diverse population is a strength for this country and a source of pride. “We will continue to defend that.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May also criticized Mr. Trump’s statements through a spokesperson as “completely unacceptable.”

On Sunday, Mr. Trump attacked four first-year Democratic congresswomen in a series of tweets that Democrats and other critics called racist.

“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,” Mr. Trump tweeted.

He did not mention names in his initial Sunday tweets, but appeared to reference Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib – a group known as “the squad” that has been critical of Mr. Trump as well as current Democratic House leaders.

All four of the first-term members of the House of Representatives are U.S. citizens and all but one of them were born in the United States.

With files from Reuters