Trump Distances Himself From Attack on Omar: I Didn't Say 'Send Her Back,' My Supporters Did

President denies he made the comment against Omar, who was one of the targets of racist tweets in which he called on freshmen congresswomen to go back to 'broken places they came from'

Reuters
Haaretz
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Trump shows a print-out with tweets carrying the image of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., during a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, in Washington, Tuesday, July 16, 2019.
Trump shows a print-out with tweets carrying the image of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., during a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, in Washington, Tuesday, July 16, 2019.Credit: Alex Brandon,AP
Reuters
Haaretz

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday distanced himself from supporters' chants of "send her back" after he criticized Somali-born Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar at a rally in North Carolina.

"I felt a little bit badly about it," Trump told reporters at the White House when asked about the chants, which drew an outpouring of criticism. "I would say that I was not happy with it. I disagreed with it. But again I didn't say that. They did. And I disagreed with.

Omar was one of the targets of several racist tweets the president tweeted, in which he called on freshmen Democratic congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Omar to "go back" to the "broken and crime infested places from which the came," despite the fact that only Omar was born outside the United States.

>> Read more: Four Democratic women of color slam Trump for 'bigoted remarks' Trump's 'go home' invective echoes Nazi incitement against Jews | Analysis ■ Who Trump is really wooing with his tweets about Israel and anti-Semitism

Trump also wrote that the congresswomen — all of whom are women of color — “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world.”

The president came under fire globally for the his comments.

The Democratic-led U.S. House voted Tuesday to condemn Trump for what it labeled “racist comments,” despite near-solid GOP opposition and the president’s own insistence that he doesn’t have a “racist bone” in his body.

Trump hasn’t shown signs of being rattled by the House rebuke, and called an impeachment resolution that failed in Congress earlier Wednesday “ridiculous.” The condemnation carries no legal repercussions and his latest harangues struck a chord with supporter in Greenville, whose chants of “Four more years!” and “Build that wall!” bounced off the rafters.

Omar, along with Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, is planning a visit to Israel and the West Bank in the coming weeks. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have to decide whether they would be let in to the country, over the support they have voiced for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Israeli law allows authorities to deny entry into the country by individuals who support boycotting the country. However, the Foreign Ministry has the authority to recommend to the Strategic Affairs Ministry and the Interior Ministry issuing waivers for political or diplomatic figures, if it deems denying them entry would harm Israel's foreign relations.

Due to the sensitivity of the congresswomen's planned visit and its possible ramifications on Israel-U.S. relations, Haaretz has learned Netanyahu would be asked to be the one to make the call on the issue.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Palestinians search through the rubble of a building in which Khaled Mansour, a top Islamic Jihad militant was killed following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, on Sunday.

Gazans Are Tired of Pointless Wars and Destruction, and Hamas Listens to Them

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage