President Donald Trump has weighed in on the most recent controversy involving Rep. Ilhan Omar, retweeting 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 video 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,” as well as news footage of the hijacked planes hitting the towers.
Trump tweeted, “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 on American soil that killed nearly 3,000 people.
Neither Trump’s tweet nor the video includes her full quote or the context of her comments.
Omar told CAIR in Los Angeles that many Muslims saw their civil liberties eroded after the attacks, and she advocated for activism.
“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.”
CAIR was founded in 1994, according to its website, but its membership increased dramatically after the attacks.
Many Republicans and conservative outlets expressed outrage at Omar’s remarks.
She tweeted a quote from former President George W. Bush shortly after the attacks, when he said: “‘The people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!”
“Was Bush downplaying the terrorist attack?” Omar tweeted. “What if he was a Muslim.”
Several of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates condemned Trump’s tweet.
“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.
Her comments sparked an ugly episode among House Democrats when they responded with a resolution condemning anti-Semitism became a broader declaration against all forms of bigotry.