Rep. Ilhan Omar says she has received threats on her life referencing the video President Trump posted of 9/11 scenes intercut with footage of the congresswoman’s remarks about the terrorist attacks.
“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,” the Minnesota Democrat said in a statement Sunday night.
“We can no longer ignore that they are being encouraged by the occupant of the highest office in our land.”
In a recent speech on Islamophobia, Omar said the Council on American-Islamic Relations had been founded after Sept. 11, 2001, “because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”
Her critics seized on the phrase “some people did something,” and Trump on Friday tweeted a video that used that line over and over, along with scenes of planes hitting the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on fire.
The video drew swift condemnation from Democrats, who said it could incite attacks on Omar, the first member of Congress to wear a hijab. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted that Trump should not be using 9/11 footage for a political attack.
“It is wrong for the president, as commander-in-chief, to fan the flames to make anyone less safe,” Pelosi added.
Pelosi called for Trump to take down the tweet. But White House press secretary Sarah Sanders praised her boss for the post.
“That was one of the most horrific moments in American history, and for her to talk about it in such a dismissive way is frankly disgusting and abhorrent,” she said of Omar on Fox News Sunday. “And I’m glad the president is calling her out and holding her accountable for it.”
In Omar’s statement, she thanked the FBI, the House sergeant at arms, and the Capitol Police for responding to the “direct threats on my life—many directly referencing or replying to the President’s video.”
“We are all Americans. This is endangering lives. It has to stop,” she wrote.