Pelosi Condemns Trump’s 9/11 Attack on Ilhan Omar: His “Rhetoric Creates Real Danger”

The top Democrat called on the president to remove his viral video.

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday denounced President Donald Trump’s recent video attack against Rep. Ilhan Omar, which combined remarks given by Omar during a Muslim civil rights event with graphic images of the attacks on September 11th, and demanded that the president remove the video from his social media account.

In a statement, Pelosi announced that she had spoken to the Sergeant-at-Arms to “ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard” Omar, her staff, and family members.

“The President’s words weigh a ton, and his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger,” the top Democrat added. “President Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video.”

The statement on Sunday follows a more muted response by Pelosi, who just the day before had criticized the president’s use of September 11th but failed to specifically defend Omar by name. Pelosi’s newest statement comes as more Democrats, including a wide range of candidates, slammed the president for taking Omar’s brief reference to 9/11 in a speech out of context in order to give the impression that the Minnesota congresswoman was trivializing the attacks. 

“He has no moral authority to be talking about 9/11 at all,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler said during an appearance on CNN Sunday morning. “She was talking about discrimination against Muslim Americans,” Nadler told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “And she just said that, after that happened, it was used as an excuse for lots of discrimination and for withdrawal of civil liberties.”

Exactly one week before Trump’s video attack, federal prosecutors revealed that a man had been arrested and charged with making death threats against Omar. According to law enforcement officials, the man described himself as a patriot who loves Trump and hates “radical Muslims in our government.”

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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