Fox News Was Not ‘Comfortable’ Showing Full Ilhan Omar Video That Trump Tweeted
Video shared by the president on his Twitter account over the weekend included graphic content that was too graphic for Fox News to show on their programming, according to one of their hosts.
During an interview with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Sunday, Fox anchor Chris Wallace wanted to ask her a question about a video President Donald Trump had tweeted out over the weekend, disparaging remarks made by Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Muslim member of Congress and a Democrat.
Wallace showed a small clip of the video, which itself was a truncated version of a speech given by Omar last month in front of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR.
After showing the very short clip, Wallace explained to viewers that “was the only five seconds [of the video] we felt comfortable showing,” due to its graphic nature, per reporting from Haaretz.
The video shared by Trump on his Twitter account depicted Omar as describing the attacks of September 11, 2001, as “some people did something.” Wallace asked Sanders whether the way Omar was depicted was unfair, and possibly endangering the Congresswoman.
“Why is the president comfortable putting out horrible images like that? Does he worry at all about inciting violence against Muslims in general or Ilhan Omar in specific?” Wallace said.
Sanders was quick to respond that she didn’t view the video as dangerous to Omar’s well-being. “Certainly nothing could be further from the truth. The president is not trying to incite violence against anybody,” Sanders said.
Omar indicated, however, that the number of violent threats against her went up over the weekend since Trump made his tweet. “Since the President’s tweet Friday evening, I have experienced an increase in direct threats on my life — many directly referencing or replying to the President’s video,” CNN reported her saying in a statement on the matter.
Research into Trump’s rhetoric seems to back up her point, that the president’s words and actions have serious consequences. According to one study published in 2018, “Trump’s tweets on Islam-related topics are highly correlated with anti-Muslim hate crime after.
Omar’s speech from March, in which she praised the work of CAIR, was not meant to belittle the attacks of 9/11 but rather to point out the fact that Muslims saw their civil liberties threatened in the aftermath of those attacks.
“For far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen and, frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it,” Omar said during that speech, per reporting from Al Jazeera. CAIR, Omar said, “recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”