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Targeted by Trump, Omar greeted with cheers

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 02:56s - Published
Targeted by Trump, Omar greeted with cheers

Targeted by Trump, Omar greeted with cheers

U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar was met by supporters at the airport when she returned to Minneapolis, and she vowed to continue to oppose President Donald Trump in the wake of his attacks on her which were widely condemned as racist.

Zachary Goelman reports.

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The U.S. Democratic lawmaker who found herself in President Donald Trump's crosshairs, greeted with cheers when she arrived back in Minnesota Thursday night.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE ILHAN OMAR, SAYING: "And when I said I was the president's nightmare, you're watching it now!

Because his nightmare is seeing a Somali immigrant refugee rise to Congress!" Ilhan Omar's family fled Somalia when she was a teenager.

She and three other progressive Democratic Congresswomen have been the subject of Trump's vitriol for a week.

The attacks started Sunday night when Trump tweeted that the four women, who are black, Hispanic, or Muslim, "go back" to the places to which they came.

Despite widespread accusations of race-baiting and a House resolution condemning his words as racist, Trump intensified his attacks on the women.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "They're always telling us how to run it.

How to do this, how to do that.

You know what?

If they don't love it, tell them to leave it!" But at a mid-week rally, he may have learned he'd gone to far.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: TRUMP: "Omar has a history of launching vicious, anti-Semitic screeds." CROWD: "Send her back!

Send her back!

Send her back!" In the midst of a 20-minute diatribe, the crowd began chanting "send her back" about Representative Omar.

The next day the president did something he rarely does: distanced himself from his own supporters' enthusiasm.

(UPSOUND) REPORTER: "When your supporters last night were chanting, 'Send her back,' why didn't you stop them?

Why didn't you ask them to stop saying that?" TRUMP: "Well, number one, I think I did.

I started speaking very quickly.

It really was a, loud - I disagree with it, by the way." Video shows Trump did not, in fact, interrupt his reporter's chanting.

But his disavowal the next day comes after Republicans grew worried the sentiment could set the tone for the 2020 campaign.

Republican Representative Mark Walker of North Carolina said, "we cannot be defined by this." Walker said that Republican leaders in the House discussed their concerns with Vice President Mike Pence.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. REPUBLICAN SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL, SAYING: "Well the president's not a racist." Republicans have squirmed at defending Trump's language, which was widely condemned as racist.

But as of Thursday, only 40 of the 250 Republicans in Congress have publicly criticized the president's words.

Meanwhile the four Democrats have received death threats.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. REPRESENTATIVE ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, SAYING: "It's not just about threats to individual members of Congress but it is about creating a volatile environment in this country through violent rhetoric that puts any one like Omar, anyone who believes in the rights of all people in danger.

I think he has a responsibility for that environment." Trump has also falsely claimed that Ilhan Omar supports the al-Qaeda terror group, and promoted this rumor: (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "she married her brother." The controversy may pose a challenge as Trump tries to please his next crowd.

Omar knows exactly how to please hers.

[upsound] Omar supporter: "We have your back!" Omar: "And we are going to continue to be a nightmare to this president because his policies are a nightmare to us!"



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