Tuesday, July 16, 2019
President Donald Trump told many lies during a press scrum where he stood by his racist tweetstorm. But there's video evidence debunking perhaps the most dangerous of those lies -- the claim that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) praised al-Qaeda. At a Rose Garden event that turned into an impromptu press conference, Trump's many lies included several accusations that Rep. Omar had praised the terrorist organization that was responsible for bringing down the World Trade Center (which prompted Trump, ironically, to falsely claim that he now had the "tallest building in downtown Manhattan" just hours after the attacks, to which he has also referred as "7-11"). In response to a question from Fox News' John Roberts, Trump said, of Omar, "I hear the way she talks about al Qaeda. Al Qaeda has killed many Americans. She said, You can hold your chest out, you can -- when I think of America ... huh ... when I think of al Qaeda, I can hold my chest out'."
In April, Trump tweeted a video featuring out-of-context remark from Omar interspersed with footage of the attack on the Twin Towers, which many called out as an incitement to violence against Omar.
In a further irony, as Trump was falsely attacking Omar over what to call the terrorist group, he was reading from a list of talking points that featured a handwritten note referring to the organization as "Alcaida."
The "some people" attack was widely covered at the time, but Trump's claim that Rep. Omar praised al-Qaeda was a new and even more inflammatory lie that is easily debunked by video evidence.
During a 2013 interview with TV host Ahmed Tharwat on the subject of the Westgate Mall attack in Kenya, Omar discussed terrorism at length -- repeatedly denouncing it as "evil" -- and made the remarks to which Trump now erroneously refers.
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