Trump isn't inciting violence against Ilhan Omar, Sanders says
Donald Trump bears no "ill will" toward Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who was targeted by the president in a Twitter video message intercut with images of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the U.S., White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Sunday.
Friday's tweet was the latest attack by Trump on Omar, one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress. It turned up the temperature after the president a week ago mocked the Minnesota lawmaker in a speech in Las Vegas to a Jewish Republican group.
Video: The remarks of the freshman member of Congress during an address to a Muslim rights organization spawned controversy, but it was just a snippet of a 20-minute speech. (Meg Kelly/The Washington Post)
In the latest incident, Trump posted a video to his 60 million Twitter followers that used a short snippet of an Omar speech followed by images of the burning Twin Towers in New York. The tweet is currently "pinned" to the top of Trump's Twitter feed, and has been shared 86,000 times.
Asked in a separate appearance on "Fox News Sunday" whether Trump is worried he was inciting violence against Muslims or Omar, 37, a Somali American who immigrated with her family to the U.S. as a teenager after living in a Kenyan refugee camp, Sanders said no. She blamed Democrats for refusing "to call her out" for what she termed anti-Semitic comments by Omar.
"Nothing could be further from the truth. The president is not trying to incite violence against anybody. He's actually speaking out against it," Sanders said on Fox, one of two appearances on Sunday talk shows. "The president will continue to call her out, call her out by name and he's not going to be ashamed nor should he be."
On April 5, a western New York man who told FBI agents that he "loves the President, and that he hates radical Muslims in our government," was arrested for threatening to murder Omar in a phone call to her office. Trump's comment to the Republican Jewish Coalition came a day later.
Omar sent a string of tweets on Saturday after Trump's Sept. 11 video, but she didn't address the president directly. In one she said that "no one person - no matter how corrupt, inept, or vicious - can threaten my unwavering love for America."
Video: Omar: 'I'm as American as everyone else'
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said Sunday that the snippet of Omar's speech used by Trump came from extended remarks about discrimination against Muslim Americans after the Sept. 11 attacks.
"She just said that, after that happened, it was used as an excuse for lots of discrimination and for withdrawal of civil liberties," Nadler, whose Congressional district includes lower Manhattan, site of the World Trade Center towers destroyed in 2001, said on CNN's "State of the Union."
This article was written by Ros Krasny, a reporter for The Washington Post.