Tweet sparks se­cu­rity fears

Tampa Bay Times - - Front Page - BY DAR­LENE SUPERVILLE

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is con­cerned about the safety of Rep. Il­han

Omar af­ter Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s retweet of a video that pur­ports to show the Min­nesota Demo­crat be­ing dis­mis­sive of the Sept. 11 ter­ror­ist at­tacks. The White House said the pres­i­dent wished no “ill will” upon Omar.

WASH­ING­TON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi an­nounced Sun­day that she has taken steps to en­sure the safety of Rep. Il­han Omar fol­low­ing Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s retweet of a video that pur­ports to show the Min­nesota Demo­crat be­ing dis­mis­sive of the Sept. 11 ter­ror­ist at­tacks.

The Cal­i­for­nia Demo­crat also called on Trump to take down the video. Soon af­ter her pub­lic re­quest, the video dis­ap­peared from Trump’s Twit­ter feed af­ter gar­ner­ing more than 9 mil­lion views by Sun­day.

Pelosi was among Democrats who had crit­i­cized Trump over the tweet, with some ac­cus­ing him of try­ing to in­cite vi­o­lence against the Mus­lim lawmaker who has al­ready seen one up­state New York man face crim­i­nal charges for mak­ing death threats against her.

The White House de­fended Trump ear­lier Sun­day, say­ing the pres­i­dent has a duty to high­light Omar’s his­tory of mak­ing com­ments that oth­ers find of­fen­sive and that he wished no “ill will” upon the first-term lawmaker.

Pelosi, who was trav­el­ing in Lon­don, is­sued a state­ment say­ing she had spo­ken with con­gres­sional au­thor­i­ties af­ter Trump’s tweet “to en­sure that Capi­tol Po­lice are con­duct­ing a se­cu­rity as­sess­ment to safe­guard Con­gress­woman Omar, her fam­ily and her staff.”

“They will con­tinue to mon­i­tor and ad­dress the threats she faces,” the speaker said. She called on Trump to dis­cour­age such be­hav­ior.

“The Pres­i­dent’s words weigh a ton, and his hate­ful and in­flam­ma­tory rhetoric cre­ates real dan­ger,” Pelosi said. “Pres­i­dent Trump must take down his dis­re­spect­ful and dan­ger­ous video.”

The video in Trump’s tweet in­cluded a snip­pet from a re­cent speech Omar gave to the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Is­lamic Re­la­tions, in which she de­scribed the 2001 ter­ror­ist at­tack on the World Trade Cen­ter as “some peo­ple did some­thing,” along with news footage of the hi­jacked air­planes hit­ting the Twin Tow­ers. Trump cap­tioned his tweet with: “WE WILL NEVER FOR­GET!”

Crit­ics ac­cuse Omar of of­fer­ing a flip­pant de­scrip­tion of the as­sailants be­hind the at­tack that killed nearly 3,000 peo­ple. She later sought to de­fend her­self by tweet­ing a quote from Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush. Days af­ter 9/11, the Re­pub­li­can pres­i­dent re­ferred to the at­tack­ers as “peo­ple.”

Nei­ther Trump’s tweet nor the video in­cluded Omar’s full quote or the con­text of her com­ments, which were about Mus­lims feel­ing that their civil lib­er­ties had eroded af­ter the at­tacks.

White House spokes­woman Sarah Huck­abee San­ders ques­tioned why Democrats weren’t fol­low­ing Trump’s ex­am­ple and call­ing out Omar, too. Democrats who crit­i­cized the pres­i­dent over the tweet de­fended Omar. Some also noted their past dis­agree­ments with her.

“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. “The big­ger ques­tion is why aren’t Democrats do­ing the same thing? It’s ab­so­lutely ab­hor­rent the com­ments that she con­tin­ues to make and has made and they look the other way.”

Omar re­peat­edly has pushed fel­low Democrats into un­com­fort­able ter­ri­tory with com­ments about Is­rael and the strength of the Jewish state’s in­flu­ence in Wash­ing­ton. She apol­o­gized for sug­gest­ing that law­mak­ers sup­port Is­rael for pay and said she isn’t crit­i­ciz­ing Jews. But she re­fused to take back a tweet in which she sug­gested Amer­i­can sup­port­ers of Is­rael “pledge al­le­giance” to a for­eign coun­try.

Rep. Jerry Nadler, a New York Demo­crat whose con­stituents in­clude Man­hat­tan’s fi­nan­cial dis­trict, which was tar­geted on Sept. 11, 2001, said he had no is­sues with Omar’s char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of the at­tack.

“I have had some prob­lems with some of her other re­marks, but not — but not with that one,” he said.

San­ders com­mented on Fox

News Sun­day and ABC’s This Week. Nadler ap­peared on CNN’s

State of the Union.

J. Scott Applewhite | As­so­ci­ated Press

Nancy Pelosi asked Pres­i­dent Trump to take down a tweet about Rep. Il­han Omar, above. The tweet later dis­ap­peared.

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