Former President Donald Trump released a lie-filled statement on Tuesday demanding that Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota apologize for “abandoning her former country.”
“Congresswoman Ilhan Omar should apologize for marrying her brother, committing large-scale immigration and election fraud, wishing death to Israel, and for essentially abandoning her former country, which doesn’t even have a government — Exactly what she’d like to see for the United States,” Trump said in his statement.
The Minnesota congress member, a Somali American refugee, was born in Somalia in 1982. Omar, along with her father and her siblings, secured asylum in the US in 1995, when she was a child.
In a July 2019 tweet, Trump told Omar and three of her fellow Democratic congresswomen to “go back and fix the broken and crime-infested places from which they came” — even though all four are US citizens and Omar is the only one who was born outside the US.
The unsubstantiated rumors that Omar’s ex-husband Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, a British national, is her brother and that she married him to help him get a green card circulated around the internet and right-wing blogs for years before the former president brought them up Tuesday.
Omar has called the rumors “absurd and offensive” and released a lengthy statement and timeline of her marriage history in 2016.
Outlets including Minneapolis’ Star Tribune and the Washington Examiner have uncovered public records and documents that point to Omar living with her other ex-husband, Ahmed Hirsi, while she was legally married to Elmi. But no evidence, like a birth certificate, has ever surfaced to suggest that Elmi is her brother.
The theory is also undercut by the fact that all of Omar’s siblings received refugee status in the US, and siblings can sponsor one another for residency status and a green card (which negates the need for a fraudulent marriage). Elmi left the US and went back to England just two years after his marriage to Omar.
There is also no record of Omar ever wishing “death to Israel,” as Trump claimed in his statement, and there is no evidence of her involvement in any kind of “large-scale” immigration or election fraud.
Trump’s statement came amid the fallout from Islamophobic comments GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert recently made about Omar. Boebert called Omar, who is Muslim, part of a “Jihad Squad” and said a Capitol Police officer had “fret all over his face” when he stepped into an elevator with Boebert and Omar.
The Colorado congress member said she told the officer, “Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine.” The comment implied that Omar could be a terrorist.
She told a similar Islamophobic story about Omar at a September event in New York, CNN reported.
Boebert issued a statement on Friday apologizing “to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar.”
Omar and Boebert had a tense call on Monday, which prompted Omar to end the conversation and Boebert to say in an Instagram video that she had been hung up on.
In response to Boebert’s initial comments, Omar called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to “take appropriate action,” adding: “Normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims.”