Late Monday, President Donald Trump renewed his attacks on U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar, calling the Muslim lawmaker “bad for our country.”
Trump spoke in Omar’s home state of Minnesota to local channel KSTP where he said he won’t apologize for the tweet he posted suggesting that she was flippant about the 9/11 attacks despite the fact that his message has resulted in death threats against her.
“Look, she’s been very disrespectful to this country. She’s been very disrespectful, frankly, to Israel. She is somebody that doesn’t really understand life. Real life,” he said in self-defense.
“It’s unfortunate,” he added. “She’s got a way about her that’s very, very bad, I think, for our country. I think she’s extremely unpatriotic and extremely disrespectful to our country.”
Trump posted and pinned a video to his Twitter feed showing a video that had been edited to make it appear as though Omar was minimizing the impact of the September 11 attacks. In it, a line from a speech that the representative made is taken out of context and spliced against video clips of news images from the day of the attack.
He immediately faced criticism for what many saw as insensitivity for politicizing the attacks and for hypocrisy, given his own response after 9/11.
Trump claims Ilhan Omar disrespected 9/11. What about the time he lied about helping clear away rubble? Or when he bragged, on the morning of the attack, about suddenly owning the tallest building in lower Manhattan? https://t.co/wn73KJCaOv pic.twitter.com/CYK2NpLNAq
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) April 16, 2019
Trump also received backlash because some people believed that his post encouraged people to openly attack Omar for her faith. Nancy Pelosi said that the threats against Omar had reached a point where she was forced to beef up security in order to protect the lawmaker, her staff, and her family.
Omar released a statement addressing the president’s attacks on Sunday evening.
“Violent crimes and other acts of hate by right-wing extremists and white nationalists are on the rise in this country and around the world,” she wrote. “We can no longer ignore that they are being encouraged by the occupant of the highest office in the land.”
But despite the rebuke from Omar, Pelosi, and many other progressive leaders, the president refused to apologize for his message.
Chief political reporter Tom Hauser asked Trump about his attack on the state’s lawmaker during an event with business leaders at a trucking warehouse. He pointed out that Omar had released a statement and wondered how the president would respond to the fact that it had led to direct threats on her life.
Trump said he had no second thoughts about the tweet and how he presented it. He also accused her of being disrespectful to Israel.