First she was blasted as being anti-Semitic. Now Rep. Ilhan Omar is accused of being anti-American. So wrote RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel in a tweet Tuesday in response to comments Omar made last month about the 9/11 attacks. McDaniel doesn't stand alone on the right in her criticism. What you need to know:
- The quote: While at a fundraiser for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in LA on March 23, Omar said, "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." (USA Today notes she was mistaken about CAIR's founding, which happened in 1994.)
- The pickup: The Daily Beast reports the comments began making the rounds this week among right-wing media outlets, "with conservatives interpreting them as minimizing the terrorist attack."
- A GOP lawmaker weighs in: Rep Dan Crenshaw of Texas on Tuesday tweeted, "First Member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as 'some people who did something'. Unbelievable."
- So does Fox News: On Wednesday, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade picked up the thread and didn't mince words, questioning whether Omar is an "American first" and making a connection with her Muslim faith: "You should be more outraged because they sullied your religion. In the name of religion they killed Americans and still do it on a daily basis," he said.
- Omar responds: She had this to say in a tweet Wednesday afternoon that included a screenshot that captured Kilmeade's quote and Crenshaw's tweet: "This is dangerous incitement, given the death threats I face. I hope leaders of both parties will join me in condemning it. My love and commitment to our country and that of my colleagues should never be in question. We are ALL Americans!"
- More of her quote: The HuffPost has the lines that preceded her 9/11 statement. "Far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen. Frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it."
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