House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., defended her party amid claims of anti-Semitism leveled against freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., saying there was “no taint” of anti-Jewish sentiment among Democrats.
“We have no taint of that in the Democratic Party,” Pelosi said. “And just because they want to accuse somebody of that doesn’t mean we take that bait.”
Omar, who took office in January, has quickly become one of the most controversial members of the new crop of Democratic lawmakers in the House – she has proved to be a target for conservative pundits, while causing headaches for fellow Democrats who have had to come to her defense.
Omar has repeatedly pushed Dems into uncomfortable territory with comments about Israel and the strength of its influence in Washington. She apologized earlier this year for suggesting that lawmakers support Israel for pay, and said she wasn’t criticizing Jews. But she refused to take back a tweet in which she suggested American supporters of Israel “pledge allegiance” to a foreign country.
Over the weekend, Pelosi announced that she had taken additional measures to protect Omar following Trump’s tweet of a video that appeared to show the Minnesota Democrat being dismissive of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Pelosi called on Trump to take down the video. That same day, the video was no longer pinned to the top of Trump’s Twitter feed, although it was not clear whether it was because of Pelosi’s request.
Pelosi, traveling in Europe, issued a statement saying she had spoken with congressional authorities after Trump’s tweet “to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff.”
“They will continue to monitor and address the threats she faces,” the speaker said. She called on Trump to discourage such behavior.
“The president’s words weigh a ton, and his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger,” Pelosi also said. “President Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video.”
The video in Trump’s tweet included a snippet from a recent speech Omar gave to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). She said, in her defense of the organization, that CAIR was founded after Sept. 11, 2001, “because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.” CAIR formed in 1994.
The video tweeted by Trump also included news footage of the terror attacks on the twin towers. Trump captioned his tweet, “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!”
Omar said Sunday that she has received an influx of death threats following Trump’s tweet.
“I have experienced an increase in direct threats on my life — many directly referencing or replying to the president’s video,” Omar tweeted in a statement. “I thank the Capitol Police, the FBI, the House Sergeant at Arms, and the Speaker of the House for their attention to these threats.”
Fox News’ Nicole Darrah and David Aaro contributed to this report.