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White House denies Trump inciting violence against Muslim lawmaker Ilhan Omar

White House denies Trump inciting violence against Muslim lawmaker Ilhan Omar”

Democrats claimed the video does not provide context to Ms Omar's 20-minute speech to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair) on 23 March.

Earlier, politicians, activists and celebrities had joined an outpouring of support for USA congresswoman Ilhan Omar after President Donald Trump retweeted a video on Friday.

Prominent Democrats including Mr Beto O'Rourke, Ms Kamala Harris and Ms Omar's fellow first-time Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were quick to rush to Ms Omar's defence, accusing the President and other Republicans of deliberately de-contextualising her remarks and endangering her life.

The video tweeted by Trump spliced news footage of 9/11 with a clip from a speech Omar gave last month in which she said "some people did something" in reference to the attacks.

Her statement late Sunday followed an announcement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that she has taken steps to ensure the safety of the Minnesota Democrat and the speaker's call for Trump to take down the video.

While many have likewise "admonished" Pelosi for failing to mention Omar by name in her chastisement of Trump (at least initially), the outrage over Pelosi's purported cowardice belies the fact that most of the disgust for Trump has little to do with protecting Omar and more to do with the politics of spectacle that has become the lifeblood of the American news cycle.

But, she added: "The president is absolutely and should be calling out the congresswoman for her not only one-time but history of anti-Semitic comments".

Pelosi said officials will continue to monitor and assess threats against Omar and called on Trump to discourage such behaviour. Omar also said Muslims had "lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen and, frankly, I'm exhausted of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be exhausted of it".

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in her office at the Capitol in Washington, April 10, 2019. I thank the Capitol Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the House Sergeant at Arms, and the Speaker of the House for their attention to these threats.

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".

"Violent crimes and other acts of hate by right-wing extremists and white nationalists are on the rise in this country and around the world".

Mr Trump captioned his tweet with: "WE WILL NEVER FORGET!"

Critics accuse Omar of being flippant in describing the perpetrators of the attacks that killed almost 3000 people.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders noted that then-President George W. Bush, a Republican, went to a mosque after 9/11 to assure Muslim Americans that they are not criminals and terrorists.

"CAIR was founded after 9/11", she added, "because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties".

Neither Trump's tweet nor the video included Omar's full quote or the context of her comments.

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.

"I find her comments to be absolutely disgraceful and unbefitting of a member of Congress". But she refused to take back a tweet in which she suggested American supporters of Israel "pledge allegiance" to a foreign country.

Ms Sanders was referencing a previous controversy sparked by Ms Omar speaking out against the influence of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobby group in United States politics.

"I have had some problems with some of her other remarks, but not - but not with that one", he said.



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