Donald Trump caused controversy at yet another Trump rally, this time in North Carolina, where he verbally attacked a U.S. Congresswoman and prompted chants of “Send her back!” from the crowd.
During Trump’s latest rally, he said Congresswoman Ilhan Omar “looks down with contempt on the hardworking Americans saying that ignorance is pervasive in many parts of this country.” He continued, “obviously, and importantly, Omar has a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic screeds.”
That’s when the crowd began chanting “send her back” as Trump proudly looked on. “So that’s Omar,” he added. Trump’s words have seemingly incited his supporters, and many felt like the display was distasteful, even by previous Trump rally standards.
Omar is a Somali refugee and a naturalized US citizen, who became one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress last November. Not allowing the negativity to affect her spirit, Omar channeled (and quoted) Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” poem in a tweet responding to the Trump and his rally supporters. “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,” she tweeted.
She later posted a picture of herself standing in front of the House Chamber with the caption, “I am where I belong, at the people’s house and you’re just gonna have to deal!”
While Omar was the target at the Trump rally, on Twitter, he also came for Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, in a series of racist tweets earlier this week, saying the four congresswomen of color — all US citizens — should “go back” to where they “came from”.
Anthony Scaramucci, who served as the White House communications director, criticized the events at the rally. “It is against the idealistic values of America,” he told CNN. “For me, it’s really about the ideas of America, what we stand for as a country.”
But Scaramucci also said, “Don’t make it a moral question. The tweets are racist. But I don’t believe he’s a racist, and he’s done a very good job for the country.”
Former Republican congressman and conservative radio host Joe Walsh also expressed his reaction to the rally, tweeting “It saddens me beyond belief that the standard-bearer for the Republican Party, my Party, is making ‘Send her back’ his re-election rallying cry. It’s so ugly. It’s so un-American. It just saddens me beyond belief.”
Senior Democrats are now requesting authorities to evaluate security for Omar as well as the three other lawmakers Trump called out by name at the North Carolina rally, warning that Trump has escalated the risk of threats or even acts of violence toward the four minority women in Washington.
“It’s crystal clear to me that her life is in imminent danger,” said Rep. 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.” Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), the House’s No. 4 Democrat, added, “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 instill violence.”