President Donald Trump escalated his Islamophobic attacks on Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar on Monday, calling her “very bad for our country” in an interview just outside the congresswoman’s district.
“Look, she’s been very disrespectful to this country,” Trump told KSTP reporter Tom Hauser after an economic roundtable event in the Twin Cities suburb of Burnsville yesterday. “She’s been very disrespectful, frankly, to Israel. She is somebody that doesn’t really understand life. Real life.”
As a reminder, Omar spent four years living in a refugee camp after she and her family fled Somalia. But, sure, I guess she doesn’t “understand life.”
Asked whether he had any second thoughts about posting a video juxtaposing Omar—one of the first Muslim American women elected to congress—with the September 11 terrorist attacks, the president quickly answered, “No, not at all.”
In a statement posted to Twitter on Sunday evening, Omar said she’s experienced a marked increase in “direct threats” on her life following the president’s video.
Trump’s video also prompted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to say she’d spoken with the House Sergeant-at-Arms “to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff” in light of the uptick in targeted violent rhetoric.
Nevertheless, Trump dismissed the threats against Omar’s life and questioned the congresswoman’s patriotism instead, telling the reporter: “She’s got a way about her that’s very, very bad, I think, for our country. I think she’s extremely unpatriotic and extremely disrespectful to our country.”
Trump’s comments came the same day one of his 2020 campaign aides claimed that the death threats against Rep. Omar were entirely her fault, despite White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ insistence this weekend that “The president is wishing no ill will and certainly not violence towards anyone.”