President Donald Trump has breathed new life into a false rumor about Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
During an impromptu press conference on the White House lawn on Wednesday, Trump was asked by a reporter from the far-right news outlet One America News to respond to allegations that Omar married her brother for citizenship.
The rumor about the freshman Congresswoman first surfaced during her state Senate campaign in 2016, when conservative blogs accused her of illegally marrying her brother in order for him to gain American citizenship.
According to The Daily Mail, a reporter was barely audible among the other media when she asked “if the administration was looking into possible immigration fraud committed by Ilhan Omar for possibly marrying her brother.”
Trump didn’t seem phased. He nodded and replied: “Well there’s a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother, I know nothing about it, I hear that she was married to her brother, you’re asking me a question about it. I don’t know but I’m sure that somebody would be looking at that.”
Some right-wing blogs have alleged Omar’s ex-husband is really her brother. The Somali-American vehemently denied the allegations at the time, calling them “disgusting lies” that “are absolutely false and ridiculous.”
She said she believed the rumor was first circulated by people who wanted to stop a black, female Muslim from sitting in Congress, according to The Associated Press.
Omar’s marriages have received scrutiny after the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board revealed in June that the Minnesota Democrat had filed taxes with a man to whom she was not legally married while she was married to another man, according to NBC.
The comment on the lawn comes at a time when the president has been ratcheting up his attacks on four Congresswomen known as “The Squad.”
On Sunday, Trump told Omar, along with fellow Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, “to go back to the countries they came from.” All four women women are US citizens, and three of them were born in America.
The presidential Twitter tirade prompted the House of Representatives on Tuesday to condemn his “racist” tweets. According to The New York Times, the measure passed 240 to 187.
Trump warned members of “The Squad” he’d be talking about them at his rally in North Carolina on Wednesday night.
Big Rally tonight in Greenville, North Carolina. Lots of great things to tell you about, including the fact that our Economy is the best it has ever been. Best Employment & Stock Market Numbers EVER. I’ll talk also about people who love, and hate, our Country (mostly love)! 7:PM— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2019
The House also voted on Wednesday to table a resolution calling for impeachment proceedings against Trump, effectively killing the measure. The vote was 332 to 95, according to CNN.