Backtracking On Criticism, Trump Says ‘Send Her Back’ Chanters Are ‘Incredible Patriots’
On Wednesday evening, during a campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina, President Donald Trump spoke to a crowd about Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democratic congresswoman he had disparaged on Twitter days before.
Trump had told Omar through Twitter last weekend, as well as three other congresswomen, to “go back” to their home countries, rather than criticize aspects of American society that she felt needed improvements. Many called those remarks racist and xenophobic.
But the crowd at Trump’s rally responded to his positively to his tweets, and responded to his complaints on Wednesday by chanting “send her back.”
Omar has been a naturalized U.S. citizen since 2000, and has lived in the United States since she was 12 years old.
On Thursday, after many spoke out about the inappropriateness of telling an American citizen to leave the country, Trump said he was disappointed by the chanters’ words.
“I was not happy with it. I disagree with it. But again, I didn’t say that. They did. But I disagree with it,” Trump said, per previous reporting from HillReporter.com. He added that he tried to stop the chants by talking “quickly” over them, but video evidence showed that wasn’t the case.
On Friday, however, Trump did a complete 180, telling reporters that he considered those who were at his rally chanting against Omar to be patriots.
“Those are incredible people. Those are incredible patriots,” Trump said, according to reporting from the San Francisco Gate.
He also resumed his attacks against the congresswoman.
“She’s lucky to be where she is, let me tell you. And the things that she has said are a disgrace to our country,” Trump added.
Wow. Trump is now back to making a full-throated defense of his fans who engaged in racist chants at his rally.
"Those people in North Carolina — that stadium was packed. It was a record crowd … Those are incredible people. Those are incredible patriots." pic.twitter.com/mHrRMl6PiW
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 19, 2019
When asked if he was still unhappy about the “send her back” chant, Trump appeared to reverse his position on it from the day before.
“No, you know what I’m unhappy with — the fact that a congresswoman can hate our country,” Trump said. “I’m unhappy with the fact that a congresswoman can say anti-Semitic things.”
Although many have called out Omar’s previous comments about Israel, the lawmaker has apologized for them, saying that her remarks were based in part due to ignorance, CNN reported months ago.
“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” she said as part of her apology back in February.
At his rally on Wednesday, Trump said many things about Omar that were untrue, including that she supports the terrorist organization al Qaeda.
“You say al Qaeda, it makes you proud, al Qaeda makes you proud! You don’t speak that way about America,” Trump said, directing his remarks toward Omar.
According to NBC News, there’s no evidence whatsoever that Omar has ever said anything even remotely similar to what the president allegedly quoted her as saying. Trump exaggerated and mischaracterized several other statements he said were spoken by Omar, that news agency reported.