Democrats respond to Trump’s 9/11 video attacking Ilhan Omar

Omar's speech from March was taken out of context.


Ellen Ioanes


Posted on Apr 13, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 2:54 pm CDT

On Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted a heavily edited video of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) making a speech at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) interspersed with footage from the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, with the caption “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!”

Omar made the speech at an event for CAIR in March, and discussed increased Islamophobia after the attacks.

“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,” Omar said at the time, discussing CAIR’s founding as an advocacy group for Muslims.

But the line “some people did something” appears in isolation throughout the video, repeated, emphasized, and set to dramatic music.

Omar’s colleague Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) came to her defense, and called on others to do the same.

“Members of Congress have a duty to respond to the President’s explicit attack today. @IlhanMN’s life is in danger. For our colleagues to be silent is to be complicit in the outright, dangerous targeting of a member of Congress. We must speak out. ‘First they came…'” she tweeted Friday.

Other Democrats also spoke out against Trump’s video.

“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,” tweeted Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called out the president for tweeting the video (which, as of Saturday morning, was pinned to the top of his feed). “The President is inciting violence against a sitting Congresswoman—and an entire group of Americans based on their religion. It’s disgusting. It’s shameful. And any elected leader who refuses to condemn it shares responsibility for it,” Warren tweeted.

Other Democrats who came to Omar’s defense included presidential candidates Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington and Julián Castro.

CAIR also put out a statement on Twitter regarding the video.

“Every American should be disgusted by @realDonaldTrump’s continued incitement against Rep. @IlhanMN,” the organization tweeted Friday.

“American Muslims died on 9/11 too. Muslim first responders died running towards the destruction. In the backlash, Americans who were Muslim or perceived as Muslim were murdered.”

Democratic Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum called for Trump’s account to be suspended.

But Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi offered a tepid response to the video, defending the images of Sept. 11 and not mentioning Omar by name.

This is only the most recent attack on Omar; earlier this week the New York Post took the same line from the same speech and juxtaposed it with an image of the World Trade Center attack.


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*First Published: Apr 13, 2019, 12:34 pm CDT