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New York Post cover featuring Ilhan Omar quote infuriates Democratic colleagues

CNN logo CNN 4/11/2019 By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

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Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar's fellow freshman lawmakers are coming to the Minnesota congresswoman's defense Thursday after remarks she made referencing 9/11 as "some people did something" were criticized in a New York Post cover that featured the Twin Towers.

Speaking at an event last month for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, 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."

The New York Post published Thursday's tabloid with the quote from Omar, who is one of two Muslim women in Congress, and an image of the Twin Towers engulfed in flames from September 11, 2001. Under the picture is the headline "Here's your something."

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York called the Post cover a "politically motivated attack," adding that the backlash against Omar is "getting to the level where this is an incitement of violence against progressive women of color."

"We are getting to the level where this is an incitement of violence against progressive women of color and if they can't figure out how to get it back to policy we need to call it out for what it is because this is not normal and this is not a normal level of political debate or rhetoric," Ocasio-Cortez told reporters at a House Democrats' retreat in Virginia. "As wild as it can get sometimes this is something beyond what is normal."

Ilhan Omar standing in front of a building: WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 08: Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) rallies with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the U.S. Capitol March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. With almost zero chance of passing the Senate, H.R. 1 is a package of legislation aimed at bolstering voting rights, reducing corruption in Washington and overhauling the campaign finance system in an effort to reduce the influence of 'special interests.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 08: Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) rallies with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the U.S. Capitol March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. With almost zero chance of passing the Senate, H.R. 1 is a package of legislation aimed at bolstering voting rights, reducing corruption in Washington and overhauling the campaign finance system in an effort to reduce the influence of 'special interests.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Earlier Thursday, she had slammed the Post's cover on Twitter as "horrifying" and "hateful."

Ocasio-Cortez pointed to Omar's co-sponsorship of a bill that would reauthorize the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.

"She's done more for 9/11 families than the GOP who won't even support healthcare for 1st responders- yet are happy to weaponize her faith," Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter.

Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts accused the Post of "manipulating" Omar's remarks, and said that her full comments "clearly speak" to Islamophobia in America post-9/11.

"Manipulating her remarks is defaming & dangerous for her & her family," Pressley said on Twitter. "Stop with this recklessness."

She blamed Rupert Murdoch, who owns the Post, writing, "This is on you - stoking hate, fear & division, putting REAL lives at risk. Shame on you."

"The NY Post knows exactly what it's doing - taking quotes out of context and evoking painful imagery to spread hate and endangering the life of Rep. Omar. Shame on them, and shame on Rupert Murdoch," said Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat and the other Muslim woman in Congress, on Twitter.

CNN has reached out to Murdoch's corporation News Corp and the New York Post for comment.

This story has been updated with additional developments Thursday.

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