- Supporters of President Donald Trump chanted “send her back” at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina, in reference to Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar.
- The chants came as Trump attacked the Minnesota lawmaker, who was among the four progressive Democrats that Trump went after in racist tweets on Sunday.
- Trump paused and looked on, issuing no rebuke to the crowd.
- Omar, one of the first two Muslim women to ever serve in Congress, was born in Somalia. She became a US citizen when she was 17.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
As President Donald Trump attacked Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina, on Wednesday night, his supporters chanted “send her back!”
The chant echoed racist tweets from Trump on Sunday that called on four progressive Democratic lawmakers, including Omar, to “go back” and “help fix the totally broken and crime infested” countries “from which they came.” Three of the lawmakers – Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan – were born in the US.
Omar, one of the first two Muslim women in US history to serve in Congress, was born in Somalia. She fled her native country as a child because of a bloody civil war and spent some time in a refugee camp in Kenya before coming to the US at the age of 10. Omar became a US citizen when she was 17.
“She looks down with contempt on the hard-working Americans, saying that ignorance is pervasive in many parts of this country,” Trump said of Omar before the crowd broke into the chant.
As the crowd in Greenville chanted “send her back,” an apparent suggestion that Omar should be sent back to Somalia, Trump paused and looked on. He issued no rebuke to the crowd.
Crowd at tonight's Trump rally in North Carolina breaks out into chants of "Send her back!" as the president attacks Rep. Ilhan Omar pic.twitter.com/0q5L39W61h
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) July 17, 2019
Trump’s verbal attacks on Omar on Wednesday night featured virtually nothing he hasn’t already said about the Minnesota lawmaker, but this was the first time “send her back” was heard as a chant at one of his rallies. In the past, supporters often chanted “lock her up” in reference to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – even well after the 2016 election. “Send her back” could be the new “lock her up.”
The president has been going after Omar and the other progressive lawmakers all week as he has fiercely defended his tweets.
Trump on Tuesday rejected the notion the tweets were racist, saying he doesn’t have a “racist bone” in his body. He has said these lawmakers “hate” America and should leave the country, though they have all fervently rejected the president’s assertions as they have rebuked his racist tweets.
“Mr. President, As Members of Congress, the only country we swear an oath to is the United States,” Omar wrote in a Sunday tweet. “Which is why we are fighting to protect it from the worst, most corrupt and inept president we have ever seen.”
“I want to tell children across this country … that no matter what the president says, this country belongs to you, and it belongs to everyone, and today, that notion – that very notion – was challenged,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Monday in response to Trump’s tweets at a press conference with Omar, Tlaib, and Pressley.
“Weak minds and leaders challenge loyalty to our country in order to avoid challenging and debating the policy,” Ocasio-Cortez added.
Tlaib characterised the tweets as “a continuation of [Trump’s] racist and xenophobic playbook,” as Omar said Trump was pushing “the agenda of white nationalist[s].”
Meanwhile, the president on Monday said he was not concerned that his tweets were being called racist because he said that “many people agree with me.” Trump’s Wednesday rally, as well as a national poll conducted after the tweets that showed his approval had gone up with Republicans, seemed to support that notion.
The House on Tuesday passed a resolution condemning Trump over his tweets, with all Democrats and just four Republicans voting in favour of it. The GOP has been overwhelmingly silent in the wake of Trump’s racist tweets, which have prompted condemnation from not only US politicians but also world leaders – including those of close US allies.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.