This afternoon, President Donald Trump painted a target on the back of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) with an appalling video montage of an out-of-context clip of her recent remarks at a Council for American-Islamic Relations Banquet and footage of the 9/11 terror attacks.
His intention was clearly to smear her as a terrorist sympathizer and possibly to provoke violence against her, driving one of his psychopathic and heavily armed supporters into following through with one of the countless death threats that she receives every day.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was one of the first members of Congress to take to Twitter in her defense, correctly calling out Trump for placing her life in danger and calling out her colleagues for their silence — especially leadership, which has yet to issue any kind of statement in her defense since the right-wing smear campaign began earlier this week.
Members of Congress have a duty to respond to the President’s explicit attack today.@IlhanMN’s life is in danger. For our colleagues to be silent is to be complicit in the outright, dangerous targeting of a member of Congress.
We must speak out.
“First they came…” pic.twitter.com/ygOX1vhE9j
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 12, 2019
Presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MASS) also took to Twitter to share messages of solidarity and support for Omar in the face of a rabidly racist demonization campaign by Trump and his cronies.
Ilhan Omar is a leader with strength and courage. She won't back down to Trump's racism and hate, and neither will we. The disgusting and dangerous attacks against her must end.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 13, 2019
The President is inciting violence against a sitting Congresswoman—and an entire group of Americans based on their religion. It's disgusting. It's shameful. And any elected leader who refuses to condemn it shares responsibility for it.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) April 13, 2019
It cannot be understated how dangerous it is to have the President of the United States engaging in this kind of racist fearmongering — and how uniquely courageous Omar is proving herself to be by refusing to back down in the face of old white terror. Hopefully, Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer are busy planning their responses to this abhorrent incitement against one of their representatives as they speak.