As President Donald Trump held a campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina Wednesday evening, supporters chanted “send her back” when talking about Representative Ilhan Omar.
What We Know:
- Trump targeted the members of “The Squad” once again at his rally who, he wrote, should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” After mentioning American congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who was born in Somalia, the POTUS paused for a few seconds as the chant grew louder.
- The president accused Omar of “launching vicious, anti-Semitic screeds,” while detailing past statements Omar had made during a speech to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
- Omar responded via Twitter with a quote from Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” poem. “You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise. -Maya Angelou,” she wrote. On Thursday, Omar told reporters on Capitol Hill she believes Trump is a fascist. “Lindsey Graham even defended his comments by saying, if I was wearing a MAGA hat — if there was a Somali person wearing a MAGA hat — they would not be deported. But because I criticize the president, I should be deported?”
- Democrats, such as Rep. Ted Lieu and Sen. Bernie Sanders, have since defended Omar under the #IStandWithIlhan hashtag and denounced the chants. The chant was condemned by a few Republican officials. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said she found the chant “extraordinarily offensive.” Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah also commented saying it was “very unfortunate and [does] not speak well of that crowd.” Meanwhile, some GOP’s defended Trump, arguing that he shouldn’t be held accountable for his supporters’ actions.
- Since then, Trump distanced himself from his supporters. When asked why he didn’t stop his supporters from continuing with the chant, he said he was “not happy” with his supporters. “I didn’t say that. They did and I disagreed with it,” he said.
Similarly, Trump also said that he didn’t approve of the “lock her up” chants during the 2016 race, demanding jail time for Hillary Clinton.