- JOSHUA ROBERTS/Reuters
- President Donald Trump said he has no regrets that his recent video attack on Rep. Ilhan Omar, arguing that the Minnesota Democrat is “extremely unpatriotic.”
- Omar said in a statement that the video led to a spike in death threats against her.
- Last Friday, Trump tweeted out a video juxtaposing footage of Omar making a comment about the perpetrators of 9/11, that critics argue trivialized the attacks, with images of the World Trade Center’s twin towers collapsing.
- “I think she’s extremely unpatriotic and extremely disrespectful to our country,” Trump said on Monday night.
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President Donald Trump said he has no regrets about a recent video attacking Rep. Ilhan Omar, arguing that the Minnesota Democrat is “extremely unpatriotic.”
Trump was asked after a rally on Tuesday whether he had any “second thoughts” about tweeting out a video juxtaposing footage of Omar’s comments about the perpetrators of 9/11 – which critics argued trivialized the attacks – with images of the World Trade Center’s twin towers collapsing.
In the days following Trump’s tweet, many Democrats – including congressional leadership – accused the president of inciting violence against Omar. The freshman lawmaker also said that the video led to a spike in death threats.
“She’s been very disrespectful to this country, she’s been very disrespectful to, frankly, Israel, she is somebody that I think doesn’t understand life,” Trump told a local reporter in Minneapolis on Monday night. “I think she’s extremely unpatriotic and extremely disrespectful to our country.”
Last week, before Trump’s tweet, 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. In a statement on Sunday, Omar said threats against her life have also increased since the release of the video.
“Since the President’s tweet Friday evening, I have experienced an increase in direct threats on my life – many directly referencing or replying to the President’s video. I thank the Capitol Police, the FBI, the House Sergeant at Arms, and the Speaker of the House for their attention to these threats,” Omar said.
On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the US Capitol Police and the House sergeant-at-arms “are conducting a security assessment to safeguard” the congresswomen and her family and staffers following the president’s attack.
REPORTER: Congresswoman Omar says your video led to direct threats on her life. Any second thoughts?
TRUMP: "No, not at all." pic.twitter.com/wiSNptg0F3
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 16, 2019
Omar made the original comment in a speech last month to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) during which she focused on the restrictions on Muslim-Americans’ civil liberties in the years following 9/11.
“For far too long we have lived with the discomfort 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. “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to civil liberties.”
CAIR was founded in 1994, seven years before the 9/11 attacks. A spokesperson for the congresswoman told The Washington Post that Omar misspoke; CAIR doubled in size after the attacks.
Many on the left have accused the president of repeatedly stoking Islamophobia and white nationalism with his attacks on Muslims over the last few years, and argue that his attacks on Omar play into the same dynamic.
“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. We can no longer ignore that they are being encouraged by the occupant of the highest office in the land,” Omar said in her Sunday statement.