On Friday, Donald Trump shared an edited video showing Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar making comments about the September 11, 2001, attacks to the Council of American-Islamic Relations. While Omar was making comments in relation to the anxiety felt by American Muslims in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Trump’s video narrowed down on four words used by Omar without providing the context of the speech.
“For far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen and, frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it,” Omar said, as reported by Axios. “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”
By intercutting the words “some people did something” with gruesome images of the actual attacks, Trump appeared to insinuate that Omar was belittling the attacks. While the Republican Party has maintained silence about Trump’s tweet, the president faces increasing backlash for what critics argue is an attempt to sow the seeds of divisive politics and play into the rampant Islamophobia of his supporters.
But now Trump’s own words have come back to haunt him. The real estate mogul’s comments in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks don’t paint him in a good light. In interviews shortly after the ghastly terror attack, as reported by HuffPost, Donald Trump seemed to “boast” about his Trump Building at 40 Wall Street being the “tallest” building in downtown Manhattan as a result of the World Trade Center being destroyed.
President Trump targets Rep. Ilhan Omar with a video of Twin Towers burning https://t.co/XnGctbMKmZ— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 13, 2019
Whether or not Trump “boasted” about his building being the tallest is up to subjective interpretation, but Trump definitely did mention that his building was the tallest soon after 9/11, reports Snopes.
“40 Wall street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually before the World Trade Center the tallest, and and then when they built the World Trade Center it became known as the second-tallest, and now it’s the tallest.”
Listen to the clip and make up your mind yourself.
This video of Trump bragging on Sept 11, 2001 about how tall his building is, now that the WTC is down, is 1000 times as bad as even an out-of-context clip of Ilhan Omar.— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) April 13, 2019
If you are attacking Omar, than you better as hell be attacking Trump.pic.twitter.com/kpQtLd2kpq
Critics argue that there was no reason for Donald Trump to mention that his building was “now the tallest” when New York was very much reeling from the attacks, with some arguing that Trump’s comments were “completely gratuitous and irrelevant to the discussion, the hallmark of an egoist with no compunctions about using tragedy as an opportunity for self-promotion.”
Trump’s video on Ilhan Omar has also been roundly criticized by the Democratic leadership, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and 2020 presidential contestants Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, all slamming the tweet unequivocally.