Late Friday Donald Trump tweeted out an altered video of Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) at a March event for the Muslim civil rights organization Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Said Omar in that speech: “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…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 our civil liberties.”
The video Trump tweeted out interspersed Omar’s words with images from 9/11 (warning: graphic).
Trump’s tweet drew immediate backlash.
Tweeted Pete Buttigieg, an Afghanistan veteran: “After 9/11 we all said we were changed. That we were stronger and more united. That’s what “never forget” was about. Now, a president uses that dark day to incite his base against a member of Congress, as if for sport. As if we learned nothing that day about the workings of hate. That day, some people did this: killed thousands of Americans in order to try to make us smaller, more divided and less free. To weaken us by distancing us from our own values through fear and anger. This is the function of terrorism.”
Buttigieg added: ‘I served overseas, at risk to my life, in the struggle against such terrorism. But it can only be fully defeated if we have leaders at home who defuse its capacity to sow hate—hate against Islam or against any number of “others.” The president today made America smaller. It is not enough to condemn him; we must model something better.’
“The threats against the life of @IlhanMN make clear what is at stake if we fail to to do this, and to beat back hate in all all its forms,” he said.
Bernie Sanders reacted: “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.”
Elizabeth Warren blasted the President: “The President is inciting violence against a sitting Congresswoman—and an entire group of Americans based on their religion. It’s disgusting. It’s shameful. And any elected leader who refuses to condemn it shares responsibility for it.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke out as well: ‘Members of Congress have a duty to respond to the President’s explicit attack today.@IlhanMN’s life is in danger. For our colleagues to be silent is to be complicit in the outright, dangerous targeting of a member of Congress.We must speak out. “First they came…”’
Rep. Rashida Talib (D-MI) tweeted: “Enough is enough. No more silence, with NY Post and now Trump taking Ilhan’s words out of context to incite violence toward her, it’s time for more Dems to speak up. Clearly the GOP is fine with this shameful stunt, but we cannot stand by.”
Trump’s tweet was preceded by outrage over the marks on right-wing media. On FOX & Friends, Brian Kilmeade wondered aloud if the Somali-American congresswoman is “an American first.”
Kilmeade later backtracked: “I didn’t intend to question whether Rep. Omar is an American – I am questioning how any American, let alone a United States Congresswoman, could downplay the 9/11 attacks.”
Ilhan Omar responded to Kilmeade’s charge.
Omar also appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
She told Colbert: “When you have people on Fox News question whether I am actually American or I put ‘America first,’ I expect my colleagues to also say, ‘That’s not OK’ and call that out.’ I took an oath to uphold the Constitution. I am as American as everyone else is.”