During a Wednesday-night rally in North Carolina, President Trump successfully directed his supporters’ ire at Representative Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and the three fellow progressive freshman lawmakers who collectively refer to themselves as the “Squad.”
Addressing thousands of supporters gathered in Greenville, Trump railed against each of the four freshman congresswomen by name and warned that their rise was indicative of a dangerous turn in politics.
Days after telling Omar to “go back” to her home country of Somalia on Twitter, Trump renewed his attack, accusing the 37-year-old refugee of sympathizing with terrorists as the crowd chanted “send her back.”
“Representative Omar blamed the United States for the terrorist attacks on our country, saying terrorism is a reaction to our involvement in other peoples’ affairs,” Trump said to raucous boos from the crowd. “She smeared U.S. servicemembers involved in ‘Black Hawk Down’ — in other words, she slandered the brave Americans who were trying to keep peace in Somalia.”
A tweet resurfaced in April in which Omar suggested U.S. forces killed thousands of Somalis during the “Black Hawk Down” incident, despite analysts concluding the number was much lower.
“Omar minimized the September 11 attacks on our homeland, saying ‘some people did something,’” Trump continued. “I don’t think so. ‘Some people did something?’ Yeah, some people did something, all right. She pleaded for compassion for ISIS recruits attempting to join the terrorist organization. She was looking for compassion. Omar laughed that Americans speak of al-Qaeda in a menacing tone, and remarked that, ‘You don’t say ‘America’ with this intensity. You say ‘al-Qaeda,’ makes you proud. Al-Qaeda! Makes you proud. You don’t speak that way about America.’”
Omar responded to the attack on Twitter by quoting Maya Angelou.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
-Maya Angelou https://t.co/46jcXSXF0B
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 18, 2019
Trump continued to stoke the crowd’s anger, attacking Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) for referring to border-detention facilities as “concentration camps” and using the Holocaust-remembrance phrase “Never Again” while discussing them.
“She said essentially Nazis are running concentration camps,” he said, later adding that “Cortez said that illegal immigrants are more American than any person who seeks to keep them out ever will be.”
He also attacked Representatives Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.) over her claim that racial minorities should not deviate from a certain political viewpoint, and slammed Representative Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) for her suggestion that lawmakers who support Israel are not entirely loyal to the U.S.