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Rep. Ilhan Omar says she has experienced increase in death threats

admin 214 Apr 15
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(CNN)Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar says in the days since President Donald Trump tweeted about a speech she gave last month, she has experienced an increase in death threats.

The Minnesota congresswoman also alleged that Trump is encouraging right-wing extremist violence, a charge White House press secretary Sarah Sanders denied earlier Sunday.

"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 said in a statement released Sunday evening.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday she had spoken with the House Sergeant at Arms about Omar's safety and that she wanted to make sure a security assessment was being conducted.

In his Friday 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."

Omar was speaking last month to a California chapter of CAIR — the Council on American-Islamic Relations. It was actually founded in 1994.

Trump included in the tweet an edited video of the 9/11 attacks.

Trump, who will be visiting Omar's Minneapolis congressional district Monday where he'll be attending a nearby tax roundtable event, stood by his criticism of the congresswoman in a Monday morning tweet calling her "out of control, except for her control of Nancy" Pelosi.

Omar in her statement Sunday night said Trump was encouraging violence — which Sarah Sanders denied earlier Sunday in an appearance on ABC's "This Week."

"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.

Omar noted Trump would be visiting her home state on Monday for a rally.

"Violent crimes and other acts of hate by right-wing extremists and white nationalists are on the rise in this country and around the world. We can no longer ignore that they are being encouraged by the occupant of the highest office in the land. Counties that hosted a 2016 Trump rally saw a 226 percent increase in hate crimes in the months following the rally. And assaults increase when cities host Trump rallies. This is particularly concerning given the president's visit to my home state of Minnesota on Monday," Omar said in her Sunday statement.

"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," said Omar.

This story has been updated with additional developments Sunday and Monday.