President Donald Trump’s comments this week targeting four Democratic Congresswomen of color, as well as his actions at a campaign-style rally on Wednesday in Greenville, North Carolina, have sparked plenty of condemnation.
Democratic lawmakers in Congress now believe that the lives of the women who Trump spoke against are in danger, Politico reported.
In a tweet he issued last weekend, Trump told four congresswomen — Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ilhan Omar — to “go back” to their own countries before criticizing societal problems they see in the U.S. All but one of the women were born in the United States, while Omar, who emigrated at age 12 and became a citizen at age 17, has been a citizen longer than Trump’s wife, first lady Melania Trump, has.
Trump received widespread criticism for his remarks, which he refused to apologize for and doubled-down on many times during this past week. On Wednesday, when he mentioned Omar’s name, his rally crowd started chanting “send her back.”
Trump didn’t take any actions to stop the chant, and seemed to enjoy it.
Several Democratic leaders believe the congresswomen’s lives are in danger as a result, specifically Omar’s. Many are calling on security measures to be strengthened for them.
“It’s crystal clear to me that her life is in imminent danger. He has threatened the safety of a member of Congress. That takes this to a whole different level,” said Rep. Bobby Rush, a Democrat from Illinois and a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
.@RepCohen on Trump’s rally: "It was more reminiscent of Germany during beginnings of the Hitler regime. People yelling, 'send her back!' That was un-American. I fear for [Omar’s] safety … the atmosphere Trump’s creating is dangerous to citizens.”” pic.twitter.com/JyXNkZNPTt
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 18, 2019
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee agreed. “There are some people who are easily influenced, and I’m afraid the president is part and parcel to the potential danger of those members of Congress,” he said. Thompson added that increased security measures are being “looked at.”
Such worries are not without justification, as the number of hate crimes has gone up dramatically since Trump ran for office and became president in 2016, the New York Times reported last fall.
Trump has in the past refused to take any blame or responsibility for violent attacks that have occurred during his tenure, including incidents that were performed by individuals who claimed they were inspired by him.
Indeed, in 2018 ABC News found at least 16 incidents where perpetrators quoted Trump’s lines of verbal attacks directly when they carried out a violent or terroristic attack.
Another study demonstrated that places in which Trump spoke at in 2016 saw a dramatic increase in hate crimes. Counties that hosted Trump rallies during his presidential run saw a 226 percent in crease in hate crimes overall, the Washington Post reported.