Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw had some harsh remarks for Democrat Ilhan Omar for allegedly downplaying the terrorist attacks, but one FDNY firefighter who survived the attack said Crenshaw didn’t seem to have time to discuss benefits for other Ground Zero survivors.
As the New York Daily News reported, Crenshaw was one of a number of Republicans who slammed Omar after remarks she made to a meeting of the Council on American–Islamic Relations emerged. During the appearance, Omar incorrectly stated that the organization was founded after September 11, 2001, in response to a rise in Islamophobia (it was actually founded in 1994), because “they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”
While The Guardian noted that Omar had prefaced the statement by condemning terrorism and appeared to be speaking in reference to Islamophobia, many Republicans attributed her “some people did something” remark to downplaying the acts of terror. Crenshaw, the Texas congressman, joined in that line of criticism.
“First Member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as ‘some people who did something.’ Unbelievable,” Crenshaw tweeted.
But New York City firefighter Rob Serra said Crenshaw didn’t seem too concerned about September 11 victims when they last met. Serra told the New York Daily News that he tried to introduce himself to Crenshaw when Serra was speaking to members of Congress about renewing the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. The fund provides compensation to first responders who were hurt during the terrorist attack, but Republicans, including Crenshaw, have been reluctant to renew support for the fund.
“He really didn’t want to talk to us,” Serra said. “He said he didn’t have any information and that his staff would take care of it.”
.@DanCrenshawTX — who's criticizing @IlhanMN for 9/11 comments — allegedly said he was "too busy" when an FDNY firefighter & 9/11 survivor recently asked to talk Victim Compensation Fund. Crenshaw still hasn't offered support for VCF renewal. @NYDailyNews https://t.co/vCl2VEcAEx
— Chris Sommerfeldt (@C_Sommerfeldt) April 11, 2019
Serra said the snub was on his mind when he saw Crenshaw’s criticism of Ilhan Omar and noted that she is not only in favor of renewing the fund, but was a co-sponsor of the bill. While he did think it was insensitive of Omar to describe the September 11 attacks the way she did, he said Crenshaw was the wrong person to be criticizing her for it.
Ilhan Omar has been a target for the right since taking office in January, and sometimes also a target for death threats. Police arrested a man for allegedly telling a member of her staff that he would “put a bullet in her f***ing skull” in a phone call last month.