Omar said that Trump “has failed in really understanding the kind of pain and anguish many of his citizens are feeling” after the death of George Floyd. Floyd, an African-American from Minneapolis, Minnesota, died after a white police officer pinned him to the ground and knelt on his neck.
In response to the tragedy, thousands took the streets. In cities across the country, some of the protests turned violent, with rioters fighting against the police and destroying property in the process.
“When you have a president who really is glorifying violence, was talking about the kind of vicious dogs and weapons that could be unleashed on citizens, it is quite appalling and disturbing,” the Democrat said, pointing to Trump’s recent statements.
The president has repeatedly referred to the demonstrators as “thugs,” and some of his remarks have been interpreted as calls for violence. According to Omar, these statements need to be condemned in the strongest terms possible.
“We condemn other nations when their presidents make those kind of statements when there is unrest in their countries, and we have to condemn our president at the highest sort of condemnation.”
Echoing D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Minnesota Democrat said that Trump has failed to show leadership since Floyd’s death. This, she said, is the main reason Americans now “look to one another for that leadership.”
Local and state governments have tried to crack down on the protests. Last night, multiple states mobilized the National Guard. The governors of Tennessee, Nevada, Missouri, Washington, California, Colorado, Texas, and Utah all deployed the reserve forces to quell the demonstrations and stop the riots. A slew of other states did the same.
Omar has previously argued that some are seeking to “exploit” the initial momentum of the protests. She has also pushed back against suggestions that outside agitators are responsible for the protests, arguing that those who promote such theories are doing so to justify state violence.
Our organizers don’t put black lives at risk. Those who are exploiting our grief do.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 31, 2020
We also can’t allow the “outside agitators” narrative to be used to inflict more pain and justify militarized force against our community. pic.twitter.com/gyspXgisQE
Trump and his allies have blamed the violence on Antifa and other left-wing groups. During a speech on Saturday, Trump vowed to put an end to violence, saying that “radical-left criminals” are responsible for what is going on in the streets of dozens of cities across the nation.
Attorney General William Barr has similarly argued that “far-left” groups and organizations need to be held responsible for allegedly inciting violence.