Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) promoted a tweet on Monday fantasizing about violence against Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in response to a Breitbart News interview the senator did in which he offered to buy her a plane ticket to return to Somalia to see the conditions of the African nation.
It all started last week when at a Turning Point USA event Paul in an interview with Breitbart News’s Alana Mastrangelo said he would contribute to funding a trip to Somalia for Omar so she can see the conditions of the country in which she was born.
From Mastrangelo’s report on her interview with Paul for Breitbart News:
“I’ve met people who have come here from behind the Iron Curtain,”Paul said. “They got away from communism, they’re some of the best Americans we have, because they really appreciate how great our country is, and then I hear Representative Omar say America is a terrible place.”
“Well, she came here and we fed her, we clothed her, she got welfare, she got [schooling], she got healthcare, and then, lo and behold, she has the honor of actually winning a seat in Congress, and she says we’re a terrible country? I think that’s about as ungrateful as you can get,” continued the senator.
“And so — I’m willing to contribute to buy her a ticket to go visit Somalia,” he continued, “and I think she can look and maybe learn a little bit about the disaster that is Somalia — that has no capitalism, has no God-given rights guaranteed in a constitution, and has about seven different tribes that have been fighting each other for the last 40 years.”
“And then maybe after she’s visited Somalia for a while,” Paul added, “she might come back and appreciate America more.”
Sara Carter, a conservative journalist, then tweeted a video clip from the interview:
.@RandPaul on @IlhanMN: "I’m willing to contribute to buy her a ticket to visit #Somalia… she can look and maybe learn a little bit about the disaster that is Somalia." “After she’s visited Somalia she might come back and appreciate America more.” https://t.co/g4Hmw0J1HH pic.twitter.com/RKjSASWbne
— Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) July 27, 2019
In response to that tweet, Intercept columnist Mehdi Hasan tweeted a criticism of Paul:
1) Paul claims Omar called America a ‘terrible country’. She never said it. A lie.
2) Paul hails America’s refugee record, ignoring the Muslim ban.
2) Omar has visited Somalia more than Paul has – & knows far more about it.
3) Paul’s dad published a white nationalist news letter https://t.co/jnZocmV9Pu
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) July 28, 2019
Then, Tom Arnold, the vehemently anti-Donald Trump actor, replied to Hasan with a vicious criticism of Paul that included a reference to a recent incident when Paul’s neighbor back home in Kentucky physically assaulted him, breaking several ribs and forcing the senator to be hospitalized:
Imagine being Rand Paul's next door neighbor and having to deal with @RandPaul lying cowardly circular whiney bullcrap about lawn clippings. No wonder he ripped his toupee off.
— Tom Arnold (@TomArnold) July 29, 2019
In January, a jury awarded Paul $580,000 in damages for the incident–which forced his neighbor to spend 30 days in jail and pay a $10,000 fine for assaulting from behind his neighbor, the senator.
“A Kentucky jury has awarded U.S. Senator Rand Paul more than $580,000 in damages against a next-door neighbor who broke six of the Republican lawmaker’s ribs in a gardening dispute,” Reuters reported in January. “The neighbor, Rene Boucher, 60, pleaded guilty last year to tackling Paul, 56, in November, 2017. Boucher said he’d ‘had enough’ of the senator’s habit of piling up garden rubbish along the border of their properties in Bowling Green, Kentucky.”
Omar, the Democrat congresswoman from Minnesota, retweeted both Hasan and Arnold’s tweets–in effect promoting the fantasy of violence against Paul from Arnold. Omar’s promotion of Arnold’s violent fantasy prompted a fierce and swift response from the right, with President Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., as well as Paul’s spokesman, Sergio Gor, and other conservatives ripping Omar for pushing this:
Shameful behavior from one of the LEADING voices & faces of the dem party. Why is @IlhanMN retweeting this abhorrent tweet? We should never tolerate violence or promote it! @IlhanMN @TomArnold pic.twitter.com/mDh3Lb9LsL
— Sergio Gor (@SergioGor) July 29, 2019
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar retweeting calls for political violence against @randpaul. I’m not surprised, and look forward to the forthcoming silence from the media on the issue. pic.twitter.com/r9BQloVoL9
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 29, 2019
.@IlhanMN retweeted threats of violence against Senator Paul—who was actually attacked!
This rhetoric is what led to the Antifa ICE bombing & the Republican baseball practice shooting
Will the media condemn Omar for her support of political violence?
RT so they can't ignore! pic.twitter.com/43DTTrGWIV
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) July 29, 2019
I hope every Democrat and Republican in Congress, as well as members of the media have the courage to call this out.
Calls for political violence should never be tolerated, regardless of Party. pic.twitter.com/AQcz5gqLI6
— Andrew Surabian (@Surabees) July 29, 2019
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to condemn Omar’s promotion of Arnold’s violence fantasy:
All good w you @SpeakerPelosi? Aren’t you right next to her right now on a CODEL abroad? Do something. Speak! Hold your own Members to the same standards you love to hold others.
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) July 29, 2019
It is unclear if Pelosi will say anything, however, as she is currently leading a congressional delegation–or CODEL–abroad in Italy and Africa, as the congressman noted.