Escalated attacks on a Muslim congresswoman, ‘incitement’, and the border
Wrapping up our live United States coverage for the night. Today’s key political developments:
- Donald Trump escalated a rightwing attack suggesting that a black Muslim lawmaker is unpatriotic and un-American, prompting condemnations from progressive Democrats that the president was inciting violence against a sitting member of Congress. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez weighed in to defend Representative Ilhan Omar; House Democratic leadership did not immediately comment.
- Trump also threatened to ship immigrants detained at the border to so-called sanctuary cities to release them, as a way to stick it to Democrats who have opposed his immigration policies. “They’re always saying they have open arms. Let’s see if they have open arms,” he said. The threat came after news outlets reported that the White House pushed the idea months ago, but officials insisted it was briefly considered and then rejected. Trump apparently felt otherwise.
- Trump last week told Kevin McAleenan, then his Customs and Border Protection commissioner and now the acting Homeland Security secretary, that he would pardon him if he faced legal trouble for carrying out immigration policies that violate the law, CNN and the New York Times reported.
- The feud between fellow Indianans Pete Buttigieg and Mike Pence over religion and sexual orientation escalated, with Pence saying the South Bend mayor is attacking his Christian faith, and Buttigieg shooting back that he is only attacking bad policy.
Two of the most progressive Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential race have both called on other politicians to forcefully condemn the attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar, calling Trump’s latest attack “dangerous” and “shameful.”
Astead Herndon, who covers national politics for The New York Times, noted that it was striking to see high-profile support for Omar come from 2020 contenders, rather than Congressional leadership.
Less than three years ago, shortly before the vote determining whether the UK would leave the European Union, a young left-wing politician was stabbed and shot to death by a white supremacist.
“Britain first” and “keep Britain independent” her killer shouted.
Jo Cox had opposed Brexit. She was just 41 when she died, and left behind her husband and two children, then aged five and three.
For those who follow both British and American politics, it’s difficult not to think of Jo Cox’s politically motivated murder this week, as right-wing attacks on Muslim-American Congresswoman Ilhan Omar have raised repeated fears of incitement to violence. Omar is just 37, and has three children.
A Trump supporter in upstate New York was charged with threatening to kill Omar last week.
Some American activists are speaking out about the Democratic Party’s lack of a strong response to the right-wing attacks on the loyalty and patriotism of Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Among them is Mariame Kaba, an influential organizer and prison abolitionist:
“@IlhanMN’s life is in danger. For our colleagues to be silent is to be complicit in the outright, dangerous targeting of a member of Congress.”
New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joins Rep. Rashida Tlaib in calling for Democrats to “speak out” about the consequences of attacks on the Muslim-American politician by President Trump, Republicans, and right-wing media outlets.
An MSNBC host weighs in on the president’s Friday night attack against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
Just last week, a Trump supporter was charged with threatening to kill Omar, one of the first Muslim women to serve in the US Congress.
President Donald Trump is attacking a Muslim congresswoman for an out-of-context line from a speech she gave about Islamophobia after September 11.
Trump’s own comments on September 11, 2001 have long attracted criticism. In a media interview just hours after the terror attack on the World Trade Center, Trump first described his shock and disbelief at what had happened.
Then he added a comment that left the journalists interviewing him “stunned.”
Trump, claimed, falsely, that one of his own buildings had been “the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan,” just after the World Trade Center.
“And now it’s the tallest,” he added.
Rashida Tlaib, one of two Muslim-American women currently serving in Congress, is calling on Democrats to “speak up” against the smear attacks against congresswoman Ilhan Omar by right-wing media outlets and President Trump.
“We cannot stand by,” she wrote.
It’s Friday night, and the president is still tweeting. He just retweeted a Fox News interview clip from Thursday, in which his former campaign manager repeated Trump’s belief that the Obama administration approved spying on the Trump campaign.
Last year, James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, said publicly that the FBI was not spying on the Trump campaign: “They were spying on — a term I don’t particularly like — but on what the Russians were doing. Trying to understand were the Russians infiltrating, trying to gain access, trying to gain leverage and influence which is what they do.”
President Donald Trump’s tweet attacking the patriotism of a Muslim American member of Congress comes less than a month after a major white supremacist terror attack targeting Muslim worshippers at two mosques in New Zealand.
“The sequence of events from Christchurch to now is quite terrifying,” Jason Wilson, a reporter who covers far-right extremists in the United States and Australia, wrote on Twitter on Friday.