Trump has preferred to distance himself from the controversial chants that were heard during a rally in support of him on Wednesday.
Speaking to a crowd of MAGA supporters in North Carolina, the POTUS brought up a rumour suggesting that Rep. Ilhan Omar was at some point married to her brother.
A crowd of supporters immediately started chanting “send her back”, with Trump referring to the rhetoric disapprovingly the following day.
“I felt a little bit badly about it”, Trump told reporters at the White House when asked about the chants on Thursday, which drew an outpouring of criticism. “I would say that I was not happy with it. I disagreed with it. But again I didn’t say that. They did. And I disagreed with”.
'Omar's Life in Imminent Danger'
Meanwhile, senior Washington Democrats are not only outraged at the “racist” attacks by the president on Somali-born Ilhan Omar, but with the scandal culminating in the “send her back” chants at Wednesday night’s rally, they are also increasingly worried about her safety.
Party biggies are now calling for authorities to evaluate security for Omar.
“It’s crystal clear to me that her life is in imminent danger”, said Bobby Rush, a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus. “He has threatened the safety of a member of Congress. That takes this to a whole different level”, Politico wrote, citing the politician, on Thursday morning.
The House’s No. 4 Democratic member, Ben Ray Lujan, also weighed in, arguing:
“It’s bad enough that the president didn’t stop the chant last night. But he started it. It’s instilling fear, it’s going to instil violence”, said Ben Ray Lujan.
Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson has likewise joined a chorus of concerns coming from Democrats over the security of Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar, branding the attacks on her as deeply “racist”.
He tweeted that the attacks are “life-threatening” and run counter to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission workplace regulations, going further to express his concern for “women in the press”.
Trump Goes on Anti-'Squad' Rant
The president first caused uproar during the ongoing week of political accusations on Sunday, urging Omar and the “Squad” – the group of progressive congressional women that she is a part of – to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came”. Days later, on Wednesday during a rally in North Carolina, he went still further, repeating an accusation that Omar’s second marriage was in actual fact to her sibling – a rumour that has never been grounded, though.
Omar's 'Interfamilial Marriage' Controversy
Ilhan Omar, a US rep. for Minnesota, became central in a controversy over her first and second marriages, when a hoax from as far back as the year 2016 suggested that she had wedded her brother. After a several-year-long break, her conjugal arrangements returned to the spotlight after Donald Trump picked up on the rumoured interfamilial marriage – something Omar called an Islamophobic slur.
The claim was triggered by a picture and reports emerging from Omar’s North Dakota University years, when she studied together with and dated her second husband, while the first one allegedly also came to stay with them. At the time, she was still married to her first husband and father of her children, whom she later divorced and then reunited with.