President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted a video attacking Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., for the way she phrased a reference to 9/11, adding fuel to a controversy that has swelled in Republican political circles this week.
The video showed snippets of comments Omar made last month at a banquet for a Muslim civil rights organization interspersed with footage of the twin towers burning.
“WE WILL NEVER FORGET!” Trump tweeted, along with the video.
On Thursday, the New York Post had helped set the tone by publishing a front page that showed her comment, “Some people did something,” over a similar image.
The remarks in question came in March, as Omar, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, spoke about Islamophobia at an event held by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil-liberties group. The white-supremacist shooting that left 50 Muslim worshipers dead at two mosques in New Zealand had occurred the week before.
The speech had drawn a protest outside at the time and even news coverage from conservative-leaning outlets such as the Washington Times, which noted that she told fellow Muslims to “raise hell,” and “make people uncomfortable,” as they sought to defend their rights.
But this week conservatives began to fixate on a different portion of the speech, after CAIR posted a video on Tuesday: the four words she used to refer to 9/11, as “some people did something.”
The comments were the focus of harsh broadsides from people such as Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronda McDaniel, Donald Trump Jr., and “Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade, who questioned whether Omar, a Somali refuge, was “an American first.”
(c) 2019, The Washington Post · Eli Rosenberg