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U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) listens during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on January 4, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo:  Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Trump Denounced for 'Incitement to Violence' Against Ilhan Omar After Latest Racist Attack on Congresswoman

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls on representatives to formally condemn Trump's comments

Julia Conley

Democrats in Congress condemned President Donald Trump Monday after he doubled down on his weekend attacks on progressive women of color in the House, this time focusing his racist comments on Rep. Ilhan Omar.

At the White House, Trump told reporters that the Minnesota Democrat "hates Jews," months after Omar was attacked for her criticism of the pro-Israel lobby's hold on lawmakers.

Trump also fabricated a claim that Omar had praised Al Qaeda and expressed pride in the group.

The press conference came hours after the president had tweeted that Omar and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) should apologize to him and the entire country for expressing criticism of his administration and Israel's treatment of Palestinians. Over the weekend he wrote that the lawmakers should "go back" to the countries they and their families came from.

Trump's latest comments drew outcry from Omar and others who came to her defense.

The president and his allies, Omar tweeted, "are working to silence the voices of the people who see themselves represented in me. I will stay in the ring, fighting for what is right and will never back down in the face of these attacks."

"President Trump's remarks today are a dangerous new low that will lead to more death threats on Congresswoman Omar and a surge in bigotry against American Muslims," said Madihha Ahussain, special counsel for Muslim Advocates, in a statement. "It's astonishing that he would fabricate a quote suggesting that Rep. Omar was proud of Al Qaeda. The idea that Muslims support terrorism is a false, harmful slur that the president gleefully peddled today when he falsely claimed that Rep. Omar supports terrorism and is anti-Semitic—both of which are established anti-Muslim tropes."

"President Trump has made it clear that the driving force of his administration is open bigotry and white supremacy. All Republicans and Democrats must forcefully and unequivocally condemn him immediately," Ahussain added. "Anything less than that is an endorsement of this hatred."

On social media, historian Kevin Kruse and others wrote that Trump's racist rhetoric targeting women of color in Congress could carry serious and dangerous consequences for the lawmakers, noting that Omar has already been subjected to threats on her life.

Earlier Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that the House would vote on a resolution officially condemning Trump

"This weekend, the president went beyond his own low standards using disgraceful language about members of Congress," Pelosi wrote to House members. "The House cannot allow the president's characterization of immigrants to our country to stand. Our Republican colleagues must join us in condemning the president's xenophobic tweets."

Later, Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) said he would soon force a vote on impeaching the president for "bigotry in policy," following Trump's comments. The congressman said on Twitter that he would call for the vote before representatives' August recess.

"Trump's racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and Islamophobia can no longer be tolerated or ignored," Green tweeted. "We must impeach."

As of Monday, 83 House Democrats support an impeachment inquiry against the president.


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