Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) explicitly expressed support for the controversial “Squad” member known for her history of antisemitic statements and criticisms of America, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), following President Trump’s rally in Greenville, North Carolina on Wednesday.
Trump took aim at each individual “Squad” member during the rally in Greenville and criticized Omar specifically for her history of antisemitic statements. The crowd expressed outrage, briefly shouting “Send her back!” in unison. Omar responded by tweeting a poem by Maya Angelou.
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 https://t.co/46jcXSXF0B
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 18, 2019
Numerous political figures came to her defense.
A chant like “Send her back!” is ugly and dangerous, and it is the inevitable consequence of President Trump’s demagoguery. This is how history’s worst episodes begin. We must not allow this man to take us to such a place.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) July 18, 2019
I challenge every Republican to watch @realDonaldTrump’s rally last night, complete with chants of “Send her back”, and ask if that is the Party of Lincoln and Reagan we signed up for. We are in a fight for the soul of the GOP, and silence is not an option. #AmericaDeservesBetter
— Gov. Bill Weld (@GovBillWeld) July 18, 2019
My verdict on President Trump's 'SEND HER BACK!' rally last night – the most sickening moment of his presidency. https://t.co/IipNjRsI5z pic.twitter.com/cnbfv4Gxoo
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 18, 2019
The crowd at Trump’s rally chanting “send her back” after the President viciously and dishonestly attacked Ilhan Omar is one of the most chilling and horrifying things I’ve ever seen in politics.
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) July 17, 2019
Whether it's "send her back" or "lock her up," "there has to be some form of punishment" or "grab her by the p***y"—the throughline is contempt for women and anyone who threatens this president's fragile ego.
He should be afraid. We are his worst nightmare. And we will beat him.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) July 18, 2019
Sanders followed suit, tweeting the hashtag #IStandWithIlhan on both of his verified Twitter accounts.
Trump knows that when we stand together and fight for racial, social, economic and environmental justice, we have the power to defeat him.
So the demagogue is doing what he knows best: Divide and conquer through hate.
His attacks only make us stronger. #IStandWithIlhan
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 18, 2019
#IStandWithIlhan and am proud to work with her in Congress.
Trump is stoking the most despicable and disturbing currents in our society. And that very hatred and racism fuels him. We must fight together to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of our country.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 18, 2019
Omar has been under fire for her history of antisemitic statements and anti-America remarks.
As Breitbart News detailed:
Omar has a long history of anti-Israel statements that have included antisemitic themes, such as suggesting that Jews control the world. In 2012, she tweeted: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” Local Jewish community leaders in Minnesota staged an intervention before she took up her seat in Congress — to no avail; she continued making offensive anti-Israel and antisemitic statements.
In February, Omar tweeted, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” suggesting (falsely) that a pro-Israel group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), bribed members of Congress to support Israel. The implication was that Jews were using money to control Congress. Omar apologized for that tweet, but went on, a few weeks later, to claim that pro-Israel members of Congress owed “allegiance to a foreign country.” The chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a fellow Democrat, called her statement a “vile antisemitic slur,” but she refused to apologize.
Omar refused to express regret for her past off-color statements during an interview with CBS This Morning Wednesday.
“Oftentimes there are things that you might say that would not hold weight for you, but to someone else, right, the way we hear and consume information is very different from how the next person might be. Nothing I said was meant for that purpose,” she said.
When asked if she regretted any of those remarks, she said: “I do not,” only apologizing for how her words “made people feel” but not the remarks themselves.