Rep. Alexandria, D-N.Y., suggested Friday that President Donald Trump’s criticism of Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., is part of a Nazi-like campaign that puts every U.S. lawmaker at risk.
Warning that Omar’s “life is in a danger,” Ocasio-Cortez said her fellow members of Congress “have a duty to respond” to Trump’s “explicit attack” on her freshman Democratic colleague. Otherwise, she hinted, they could be the next target of nefarious forces linked to the president.
While Ocasio-Cortez did not directly mention the Nazis, she quoted a famous poem, “First They Came,” by German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller about how the cowardice of German intellectuals enabled the atrocities of the Third Reich.
Members of Congress have a duty to respond to the President’s explicit attack today.@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.
We must speak out.
“First they came…” pic.twitter.com/ygOX1vhE9j
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 12, 2019
Omar has come under fire, mostly by conservatives, since a video surfaced on Twitter last week of her characterizing the Sept. 11 attacks as “some people did something” during a Council on American-Islamic Relations banquet in California on March 23.
She has repeatedly stirred controversy with her criticism of the United States, including by questioningU.S.-Israel relations in terms she later admitted were anti-Semitic.
On Saturday, Trump retweeted a video interspersing Omar’s edited remarks with video of the carnage of 9/11. He commented: “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!”
WE WILL NEVER FORGET! pic.twitter.com/VxrGFRFeJM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez’s invocation of the Holocaust – which echoed liberal fears of Trumpian tyranny – was one of a series of defenses she has offered of Omar. On Saturday, she backed a boycott by Yememi American shop owners of the New York Post for slamming Omar Thursday in a front-page editorial.
Earlier in the week, she called the criticism of Omar “an incitement of violence against progressive women of color” and suggested that Rep. Dan Crenshaw, D-Texas, in particular, has no right to talk about 9/11 and should instead worry about right-wing extremism.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich, who in January joined Omar as the first two Muslim congresswomen, has spoken out for her in similar terms. She claimed that the backlash to Omar’s 9/11 comments was “racist” and put her life in danger, and later accused the Democratic leadership of failing to adequately defend Omar while using its new Muslims members to boast about its diversity.
Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib defends Rep. Ilhan Omar’s 9/11 comments: “she does speak truth”
Tlaib suggests that those who are criticizing Omar are racist pic.twitter.com/of0rgKeCWg
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) April 11, 2019
Omar spoke out for herself in an appearance Wednesday on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” saying: “I took an oath to uphold the Constitution. I am as American as everyone else is.”
She also said in a series of tweets Saturday that Trump, whom she indirectly called “corrupt, inept,” and “vicious” cannot “threaten my unwavering love for America.”
No one person – no matter how corrupt, inept, or vicious – can threaten my unwavering love for America. I stand undeterred to continue fighting for equal opportunity in our pursuit of happiness for all Americans.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) April 13, 2019