- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer condemned President Donald Trump’s recent attack on Rep. Ilhan Omar over her remarks on the 9/11 terror attacks in a statement to INSIDER on Monday.
- “The way President Trump has targeted Rep. Omar is dangerous and wrong,” Schumer said. “He should take down his tweets immediately and stop tweeting and start leading.”
- This comes after several days of mounting pressure from progressive activists on Democratic lawmakers to speak out in defense of Omar, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress,
- Omar has recently been the target of increased death threats.
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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer condemned President Donald Trump’s attack on Rep. Ilhan Omar, who faced fierce criticism after saying “some people did something” on 9/11, in a statement to INSIDER on Monday.
“The way President Trump has targeted Rep. Omar is dangerous and wrong. The president has the responsibility to unite – not divide – the country, but his recent attacks have again done the exact opposite,” Schumer said in the statement.” Americans expect more from our commander-in-chief than cheap exploitation of 9/11. He should take down his tweets immediately and stop tweeting and start leading.”
On Friday, Trump tweeted out a video on Friday juxtaposing footage of Omar’s remark with images of the World Trade Center’s twin towers collapsing, provoking immediate backlash from the left.
Schumer’s statement comes after several days of mounting pressure from progressive activists on Democratic lawmakers to speak out in defense of Omar, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, who has been targeted with death threats.
On Saturday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi enraged Democratic activists – and some lawmakers – by appearing to condemn both Omar’s remark and Trump’s attack.
“The memory of 9/11 is sacred ground, and any discussion of it must be done with reverence. The President shouldn’t use the painful images of 9/11 for a political attack,” Pelosi tweeted on Saturday, adding, “It is wrong for the President, as Commander-in-Chief, to fan the flames to make anyone less safe.”
Most Democrats initially stayed quiet as video of Omar making the remark during a speech to the Council on American-Islamic Relations last month went viral and many conservatives – and at least one Democratic lawmaker – attacked her.
Only Omar’s closest allies, including freshman Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley, publicly defended Omar before Trump’s attack. They didn’t defend Omar’s comment, but argued that it was “taken out of context” and “manipulated.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Max Rose, a Staten Island Democrat and Army veteran, called Omar’s comment “insensitive.”
But after Trump’s video attack, several 2020 presidential candidates and Democratic members of Congress began to speak out in defense of the freshman congresswoman.
They condemned Trump’s video attack in much stronger terms and warned it could inflame Islamophobia and incite violence against Omar.
Ilhan Omar is a leader with strength and courage. She won't back down to Trump's racism and hate, and neither will we. The disgusting and dangerous attacks against her must end.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 13, 2019
Some progressive Democrats were incensed at Pelosi’s initial response to the controversy.
“They put us in photos when they want to show our party is diverse,” Tlaib tweeted on Saturday, apparently referring to Pelosi and Democratic leadership. “However, when we ask to be at the table, or speak up about issues that impact who we are, what we fight for & why we ran in the first place, we are ignored. To truly honor our diversity is to never silence us.”
Omar says she has been targeted with numerous death threats over her comments. And last week, a New York man was arrested and charged with threatening to assault and kill Omar, the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York said.