Pelosi admonishes Trump for using 9/11 video to criticize Ilhan Omar

Dems accuse president of inciting violence

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
CNN

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admonished President Donald Trump for using video of 9/11 to criticize Rep. Ilhan Omar's remarks she made referencing the terrorist attacks as "some people did something."

"The memory of 9/11 is sacred ground, and any discussion of it must be done with reverence. The President shouldn't use the painful images of 9/11 for a political attack," Pelosi said on Saturday.

The Democratic leader added that it's "wrong for the President, as Commander-in-Chief, to fan the flames to make anyone less safe."

The President on Friday tweeted out an edited video that used comments Omar made at the Council on American-Islamic Relations last month spliced with news footage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

"We will never forget!" Trump wrote.

The under-a-minute video that Trump posted did not include Omar's comments in context. CNN has reached out to Omar's spokesperson for comment.

"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 our civil liberties," Omar said last month. CAIR was founded in 1994.

In a series of tweets Saturday, Omar, one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, said "no one person -- no matter how corrupt, inept, or vicious -- can threaten my unwavering love for America."

"I did not run for Congress to be silent. I did not run for Congress to sit on the sidelines. I ran because I believed it was time to restore moral clarity and courage to Congress. To fight and to defend our democracy," Omar said.

Omar also quoted former President George W. Bush in the wake of 9/11 as a way of defending her own words.

" 'The people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!' " Omar said on Friday, quoting Bush's words in 2001. "Was Bush downplaying the terrorist attack? What if he was a Muslim?"

Several congressional Democrats and 2020 Democratic presidential candidates came to the Minnesota congresswoman's defense on Twitter.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont called for the "disgusting and dangerous attacks" against Omar to end.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren accused Trump of inciting violence against Omar and said "any elected leader who refuses to condemn it shares responsibility for it."

Sen. Kamala Harris of California suggested Trump was "vilifying a whole religion."

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand condemned Trump's rhetoric but also appeared to take issue with Omar's comments.

"As a Senator who represents 9/11 victims, I can't accept any minimizing of that pain," Gillibrand wrote on Twitter. "But Trump's dangerous rhetoric against @IlhanMN is disgusting. It's a false choice to suggest we can't fight terrorism and reject Islamophobic hate at once—a president should do both."

The New York Post on Thursday published its cover with an image of the Twin Towers engulfed in flames and the headline, "Here's your something."

Some of Omar's high-profile House Democratic colleagues called the cover "hateful," suggested the congresswoman's comments were manipulated, and accused the owner of the Post, Rupert Murdoch, who has deep ties to Trump, of endangering Omar's life.

A week ago, a New York man was arrested and charged with threatening to assault and murder Omar because of her Muslim faith.

CNN's Sunlen Serfaty and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.

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