At a campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina, Wednesday night, President Donald Trump again launched a verbal attack on first-term Minnesota congressional rep Ilhan Omar — a former refugee who was born in Somalia and emigrated to the United States at age 10. The Washington Post reported that Trump falsely claimed Omar had praised the terrorist organization Al Qaeda, among other accusations, in his most recent diatribe.
As he had in a series of tweets beginning on Sunday -- as The Inquisitr reported -- Trump told the crowd that Omar and three other first-year reps should leave the United States.
"If they don't like it, let them leave," Trump said, as quoted by The Washington Post. But the crowd took Trump's statement a step further by breaking into a chant of "send her back!" The chant was directed at Omar, in what the political site Vox.com called "a new low" for the president, and "one of the ugliest moments of his presidency."
But on Thursday -- allegedly at the urging of his daughter Ivanka Trump, according to The Wall Street Journal -- Trump attempted to disassociate himself from the "send her back" chant, pointing out that he had not actually said that Omar should be forcibly sent back to Somalia, only that she should leave the United States, presumably on her own accord.
Trump also said that he disagrees with the "send her back" chant, and claimed that he was somehow caught by surprise, but attempted to subdue the chanting crowd, according to a Vox.com account.
"I started speaking very quickly," Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday. "But it was quite a chant, and I felt a little bit badly about it. But I will say — I did, and I started speaking very quickly."
However, there are some who allege that Trump's version of events -- and his claim that he "started speaking very quickly" -- do not match up with the actual images from the Greenville rally, as seen below."During the chant, Trump stood silently on stage, seeming to enjoy listening to a largely white audience demand that a black woman go back to Africa," wrote ShareBlue reporter Dan Desai Martin, describing Trump's response to the chant, as captured on video.
As MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin reported via his Twitter account, "Trump let the chant go on for about 13 seconds. He never told the crowd to stop."
But that did not stop White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley from echoing Trump's own false claims about his role in the "send her back chant, as Vox.com reporter Aaron Rupar noted via Twitter.
"He didn't let the chant go on very long," Gidley said in a Fox News interview. "He was very stoic and kept on driving his messaging home," adding that the wording of the crowd's "send her back" chant was "tough to hear."