President Donald Trump hason the most recent controversy involving Rep. Ilhan Omar, tweeting video edited to suggest that the Minnesota Democrat was dismissive of the significance of the Sept. 11 attacks.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the president “shouldn’t use the painful images of 9/11 for a political attack.”
“The memory of 9/11 is sacred ground, and any discussion of it must be done with reverence,” she said in a statement released Saturday while in Germany visiting American troops.
“It is wrong for the President, as Commander-in-Chief, to fan the flames to make anyone less safe,” she added.
The video Mr. Trump tweeted on Friday pulls a snippet of Omar’s speech last month to the Council on American-Islamic Relations in which she described the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center as “some people did something.” The video also shows news footage of the hijacked planes hitting the towers. Mr. Trump wrote, “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!”
Omar’s remark has drawn criticism largely from political opponents and conservatives. They say Omar, one of the first Muslim women to serve in Congress, offered a flippant description of the assailants and the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
Omar told CAIR in Los Angeles that many Muslims saw their civil liberties eroded after the attacks, and she advocated for activism. Neither Mr. Trump’s tweet nor the video includes her full quote or the context of her comments.
“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,” she said in the March 23 speech, according to video posted online. “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.”
Many Republicans and conservative outlets expressed outrage at Omar’s remarks.
“First Member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as ‘some people who did something,'” tweeted Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas. The retired Navy SEAL lost his right eye in 2012 in an explosion in Afghanistan.
“Here’s your something,” the New York Post blared on its cover beneath a photograph of the flaming towers.
After Mr. Trump’s tweet, some defended her. Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted “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.”
Others slammed Mr. Trump over the video. “Someone has already been charged with a serious threat on Congresswoman Omar’s life. The video the president chose to send out today will only incite more hate,” said Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. “You can disagree with her words – as I have done before – but this video is wrong. Enough.”