Congress

Rep. Ilhan Omar condemns Trump for endangering the lives of Muslims

Omar raised the concern that the president's first visit to her home state of Minnesota could stoke violence

Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Dean Phillips, D-Minn., make their way to the Supreme Court for a rally with Congressional Democrats on a resolution condemning a federal court ruling overturning the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ilhan Omar condemned the president Sunday for endangering her life and the lives of other Muslims, after he posted a video to Twitter Friday evening that splices a clip of the Minnesota Democrat speaking to a Muslim civil rights organization with footage of the World Trade Center burning on 9/11.

The congresswoman said she has experienced a sharp increase in threats since President Donald Trump posted the video. She said President Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric emboldens white nationalists and far-right extremists prone to violence. 

[‘You have trafficked in hate your whole life’: Rep. Ilhan Omar swings back at Trump]

“Violent crimes and other acts of hate by right-wing extremists and white nationalists are on the rise in this country and around the world,” Omar said in a statement. “We can no longer ignore that they are being encouraged by the occupant of the highest office in the land.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi contacted the House Sergeant at Arms to ensure the U.S. Capitol Police would conduct a security assessment to protect Omar, her family and her staff, according to a statement.

Omar thanked the U.S. Capitol Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Pelosi for their attention to the threats in the statement late Sunday night.

Omar, along with fellow first-term lawmaker Rep. Rashida Tlaib, was one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress. Omar was joined by some Democratic colleagues, including Tlaib, in condemning the president’s video as an incitement to violence.

[Rep. Omar won’t apologize for new comments, Dems plan anti-Semitism rebuke]

As of Monday morning, the president had not deleted the video, which had accrued more than 10 million views.

The Minnesota Democrat voiced the concern that the president’s first official White House visit to her home state on Monday could stoke violence, citing political science research showing a correlation between Trump’s campaign rallies and an uptick in hate crimes.

The White House has not backed down in its condemnation of Omar’s phrasing, despite the increased threats.

“Before Nancy, who has lost all control of Congress and is getting nothing done, decides to defend her leader, Rep. Omar, she should look at the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and ungrateful U.S. HATE statements Omar has made,” Trump tweeted Monday morning. “She is out of control, except for her control of Nancy!”

Trump is expected to mention Omar Monday in an effort to portray the Democratic Party as too far left, University of Minnesota political scientist Larry Jacobs told Fox 9.

Watch: Ilhan Omar: Increased diversity on Capitol Hill leads to better policymaking

The president’s video honed in on remarks Omar gave to the Muslim civil rights organization the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

In her full remarks to CAIR, Omar addressed the fear and restricted civil liberties faced by the Muslim American community in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“Far too long we have lived with the danger of being a second class citizen and frankly, I’m tired of it. And every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it,” Omar said in her March speech.  “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.” 

“So you can’t just say that today someone is looking at me strange that I am going to make myself look pleasant. You have to say this person is looking at me strange. I am not comfortable with it. I am going to go talk to them and ask them why. Because that is a right you have,” Omar continued.

But the president’s tweet abbreviated the congresswoman’s remarks to “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something,” then looped Omar saying, “some people did something.”

Criticism of this clipped phrase was first amplified by fellow first-term lawmaker Rep. Dan Crenshaw.

“First Member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as ‘some people who did something.’ Unbelievable,”  the Texas Republican said in a tweet last week. 

Crenshaw also “quote tweeted” a tweet that claimed Omar “does not consider [September 11] a terrorist attack on the USA by terrorists” and repeated the far-right conspiracy theory that CAIR serves as little more than a front for foreign terrorists.

Crenshaw does not endorse the ideas in the tweet he "quote tweeted," an aide clarified to Roll Call. 

Trump's latest tweet follows White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders saying Sunday that the president “is wishing no ill will and certainly not violence toward anyone.”

“I find her comments to be absolutely disgraceful and unbefitting of a member of Congress, and I think that it’s a good thing the president is calling her out,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Sunday.

“The president is wishing no ill will and certainly not violence toward anyone. But the president is absolutely and should be calling out the congresswoman.”

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