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Muslim congresswoman's security bolstered over Trump tweet

Sky News logo Sky News 14/04/2019 Wil Longbottom, news reporter

Steps have been taken to ensure the security of Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar after President Donald Trump tweeted a video that purported to show her being dismissive of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has been accused of being flippant over the 9/11 terror attacks © Getty Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has been accused of being flippant over the 9/11 terror attacks

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi revealed on Sunday she had spoken to congressional authorities "to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff".

She said officials will monitor and assess threats made against Ms Omar, and called on Mr Trump to discourage such behaviour.

"The president's words weigh a ton, and his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger," she said during a visit to London.

"President Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video."

Republicans have accused Ilhan Omar on minimising the 9/11 attacks carried out by al Qaeda which killed nearly 3,000 people.

But critics have accused the president of taking the Somali-American Minnesota representative's words out of context to try and stoke up anti-Muslim sentiment.

Ms Omar responded to the video by tweeting: "No one person - no matter how corrupt, inept or vicious - can threaten my unwavering love for America.

"I stand undeterred to continue fighting for equal opportunity in our pursuit of happiness for all Americans."

She later said she had faced increased death threats since the video was posted, adding: "This is endangering lives. It has to stop."

The video, which has been pinned to Mr Trump's Twitter feed, has since been removed, but not deleted.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defended Mr Trump, saying the president has a duty to highlight Ms Omar's history of making comments that others have seen as antisemitic or otherwise offensive, adding he wished no "ill will" towards her.

She added: "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 antisemitic comments.

a close up of smoke: Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania © Getty Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania

"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."

The video, posted on Mr Trump's Twitter account on Friday, included an excerpt from a recent speech Ms Omar gave to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

In it, she described the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center as "some people did something". Mr Trump had captioned his tweet with "WE WILL NEVER FORGET!"

However, the video did not include Ms Omar's full quote or the context of her comments, which were about Muslims who felt their civil liberties had been eroded after the attacks.

Prominent Democrats - including presidential candidates Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren - have condemned Mr Trump's tweet, claiming it was inciting racism and violence towards Ms Omar.

Ms Omar has attracted criticism with comments about Israel and the Jewish state's influence in Washington.

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