Pelosi worries about Omar’s safety following Trump tweet
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she talked with the House Sergeant-at-Arms, the House official in charge of security, about the safety of Rep. Ilhan Omar and said she wanted to make sure a security assessment was being conducted.
She said she wanted “to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff” following President Donald Trump’s tweet on Friday. “They will continue to monitor and address the threats she faces,” Pelosi said in a statement. Omar has had death threats against her in the past because of some of her comments.
Late Sunday, Omar released a statement saying that she had received an increased amount of death threats since Trump tweeted the video.
“Since the President’s tweet Friday evening, I have experienced an increase in direct threats on my life — many directly referencing or replying to the President’s video. I thank the Capitol Police, the FBI, the House Sergeant at Arms, and the Speaker of the House for their attention to these threats.”
Omar continued, “Violent rhetoric and all forms of hate speech have no place in our society, much less from our country’s Commander in Chief. We are all Americans. This is endangering lives. It has to stop.”
In that tweet, Trump wrote, “We will never forget!” and included video of a speech Omar gave last month in which she said, “For far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen, and frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it. CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to civil liberties.”
CAIR was founded in 1994.
The tweet also included images from the 9/11 attacks. Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, was speaking to a branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The under-a-minute video Trump posted did not include Omar’s comments in context.
“The President’s words weigh a ton, and his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger. President Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video,” Pelosi said in Sunday’s statement.
CNN has reached out to Omar’s spokesman and the White House for comment.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Sunday the President did not want harm to come to Omar.
“Certainly the President is wishing no ill will and certainly not violence towards anyone, but the President is absolutely and should be calling out the congresswoman for her not only one time but history of anti-Semitic comments,” Sanders said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Earlier this month, federal prosecutors charged a man with threatening to assault and murder Omar.
Conservatives have seized on Omar’s comments to CAIR, and Democrats have hit back, saying she was being mischaracterized and warning that people wrongly seizing on her comments could be inciting violence.
“We are getting to the level where this is an incitement of violence against progressive women of color and if they can’t figure out how to get it back to policy, we need to call it out for what it is because this is not normal and this is not a normal level of political debate or rhetoric,” New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in one such defense.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat who has been critical of Omar in the past, came to Omar’s defense on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning. Nadler said he took no issue with Omar’s remark and noted “she was talking about discrimination against Muslim Americans.”
CNN’s Eli Watkins contributed to this report.