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Pelosi asks for extra security for Ilhan Omar after Trump tweet

  • Ros Krasny

    Bloomberg

Washington, United States   /   Mon, April 15, 2019   /   10:50 am
Pelosi asks for extra security for Ilhan Omar after Trump tweet Ilhan Omar, newly elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on the Democratic ticket, speaks to a group of supporters in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 6, 2018. US voters elected two Muslim women, both Democrats, to Congress on November 6, 2018, marking a historic first in a country where anti-Muslim rhetoric has been on the rise, American networks reported. Ilhan Omar, a Somali refugee, won a House seat in a heavily-Democratic district in the Midwestern state of Minnesota, where she will succeed Keith Ellison, himself the first Muslim elected to Congress. Kerem Yucel / AFP (AFP/Kerem Yucel)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday she’d asked the US Capitol Police to provide more protection for Representative Ilhan Omar after President Donald Trump tweeted a video of the lawmaker intercut with images of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the US.

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

Pelosi demanded that Trump take down the post, which had been pinned at the top of his Twitter feed since Friday. By mid-afternoon the message had been removed, although at least one other anti-Omar retweet remained in Trump’s feed. And by then, the two-day-old video had been retweeted more than 86,000 times.

Earlier, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on ABC’s “This Week” that Trump bears no “ill will” toward the Minnesota Democrat, who’s been subject to at least one recent death threat.

Pelosi said in her statement that “following the President’s tweet, I spoke with the Sergeant-at-Arms to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff.”

Friday’s tweet wasn’t the first attack by Trump on Omar, one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress. But it dialed up the temperature after the president a week ago mocked her in a speech in Las Vegas to a Jewish Republican group.

In the latest incident, Trump posted a video to his 60 million Twitter followers that used a short snippet of an Omar speech followed by images of the burning Twin Towers in New York in 2001.

Asked on “Fox News Sunday” whether Trump is worried he was inciting violence against Muslims or Omar, 37, a Somali-American who immigrated with her family to the US as a teenager after living in a Kenyan refugee camp, Sanders said no. Instead, she blamed Democrats for refusing “to call” Omar for what she termed anti-Semitic comments.

Not Ashamed

“Nothing could be further from the truth. The president is not trying to incite violence against anybody. He’s actually speaking out against it,” Sanders said on Fox.

On April 5, a western New York man who told FBI agents that he “loves the President, and that he hates radical Muslims in our government,” was arrested for threatening to murder Omar in a phone call to her office. Trump’s comment to the Republican Jewish Coalition came a day later.

Omar sent a string of tweets on Saturday after Trump’s Sept. 11 video, but she didn’t address the president directly. In one she said that “no one person -– no matter how corrupt, inept, or vicious -– can threaten my unwavering love for America.”

Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, said Sunday that the snippet of Omar’s speech used by Trump came from extended remarks about discrimination against Muslim Americans after the Sept. 11 attacks.

“She just said that, after that happened, it was used as an excuse for lots of discrimination and for withdrawal of civil liberties,” Nadler, whose Congressional district includes Lower Manhattan, site of the World Trade Center towers destroyed in 2001, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”