/Donald Trumps tweet about congresswomans 9/11 comments endangering lives

Donald Trumps tweet about congresswomans 9/11 comments endangering lives

Posted

April 15, 2019 19:25:13

Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar said she was receiving death threats after President Donald Trump tweeted out a video purporting to show her being dismissive of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in America.

Key points:

  • Ilhan Omar said Mr Trump’s rhetoric was “endangering lives” and “has to stop”
  • White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Ms Trump bore “no ill will” towards Ms Omar
  • Critics accuse Ms Omar of being flippant in describing the perpetrators of the 9/11 attack

“This is endangering lives,” she said, accusing Mr Trump of fomenting right-wing extremism.

“It has to stop.”

Her statement followed an announcement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that she had taken steps to ensure the safety of the Minnesota Democrat.

Ms Pelosi also called for Mr Trump to take down the video.

Soon after Ms Pelosi’s statement, the video was no longer a pinned tweet at the top of Mr Trump’s Twitter feed, but it had not been deleted.

Ms Pelosi was among Democrats who had criticised Mr Trump over the tweet, with some accusing him of trying to incite violence against the Muslim politician.

A man from upstate New York was recently charged with making death threats against her.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defended Mr Trump earlier on Sunday (local time), saying the President had a duty to highlight Ms Omar’s history of making comments that others deemed anti-Semitic, or otherwise offensive, and that he wished no “ill will” against her.

“Certainly the President is wishing no ill will and certainly not violence towards anyone, but the President is absolutely, and should be, calling out the congresswoman for her — not only one time — but history of anti-Semitic comments,” Ms Sanders said.

“The bigger question is, why aren’t Democrats doing the same thing? It’s absolutely abhorrent, the comments that she continues to make and has made, and they look the other way.”

But Ms Omar said that since Mr Trump retweeted the video on Friday night (local time), she had received many threats on her life that referred or replied to the posted video.

“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,” she said.

“We can no longer ignore that they are being encouraged by the occupant of the highest office in the land.”

She added: “We are all Americans.”

‘Inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger’

Earlier, Ms Pelosi issued a statement saying she had spoken with congressional authorities “to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff”.

“The President’s words weigh a ton, and his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger,” she said.

“President Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video.”

The video in Mr Trump’s tweet included a snippet from a recent speech Ms Omar gave to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, in which she described the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre as “some people did something”, along with news footage of the hijacked airplanes hitting the World Trade Centre in New York City.

Mr Trump captioned his tweet with: “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!”

9/11 controversy

Critics accuse Ms Omar of being flippant in describing the perpetrators of the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

She later sought to defend herself by tweeting a quote from former president George W. Bush, in which he referred to the attackers as “people” just days after 9/11.

Neither Mr Trump’s tweet nor the video included Ms Omar’s full quote or the context of her comments, which were about Muslims feeling that their civil liberties had been eroded after the attacks.

Ms Omar repeatedly has pushed fellow Democrats into uncomfortable territory with comments about Israel and the strength of the Jewish state’s influence in Washington.

She apologised for suggesting that politicians supported Israel for pay and said she was not criticising Jews.

But she refused to take back a tweet in which she suggested that American supporters of Israel “pledge allegiance” to a foreign country.

AP

Topics:

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