Washington: Congresswoman says rightwing vitriol cannot threaten her ‘unwavering love for America’ as president pushes video. In the face of attacks from Donald Trump, Republicans and rightwing media outlets, the Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar said on Saturday no one could “threaten” her “unwavering love for America”.
“I did not run for Congress to be silent,” Omar wrote on Twitter, less than a day after the president shared a video that included footage of her speaking and graphic images of the 9/11 terror attacks. Trump retweeted his message on Saturday.
Omar thanked supporters for standing “against an administration that ran on banning Muslims from this country”.
“No one person – no matter how corrupt, inept, or vicious – can threaten my unwavering love for America,” she wrote on Twitter. “I stand undeterred to continue fighting for equal opportunity in our pursuit of happiness for all Americans.”
In the hours after the president attacked Omar, who came to the US from Somalia as a refugee and became one of the first Muslim women in Congress, progressive Democrats condemned the president for “inciting violence” against her. Just last week, a Trump supporter from New York state was charged with threatening to kill Omar.
But while presidential candidates rallied behind Omar, House leaders did not immediately take the same approach.
Leadership and some freshmen Democrats have disagreed over how to respond to attacks on Omar, including accusations that her criticism of US policy on Israel was antisemitic. Last month, Omar apologized “unequivocally” after suggesting support for Israel was fueled by donations from a lobby group.
On Saturday morning, Speaker Nancy Pelosi hedged her response to Trump’s tweet, saying “the president shouldn’t use the painful images of 9/11 for a political attack” but not mentioning Omar.