The Muslim American congresswoman Ilhan Omar has said she has received an increased number of death threats after Donald Trump repeatedly tweeted video footage of September 11 and accused Omar of downplaying the terror attacks.
Omar issued a statement on Sunday night saying: ???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.???
Omar said the Capitol police, the FBI, the House sergeant at arms and the speaker of the House were all aware of the threats and she thanked them for their assistance.
???Violent rhetoric and all forms of hate speech have no place in our society, much less from our country???s Commander in Chief,??? she wrote. ???We are all Americans. This is endangering lives. It has to stop.???
The White House escalated its assault on Omar on Sunday, as the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, insisted that Omar, 37, a Somali American who as one of the first Muslim women in Congress is the first to wear a hijab in the House chamber, was in the wrong.
???I find her comments to be absolutely disgraceful and unbefitting of a member of Congress,??? Sanders said, ???and I think that it???s a good thing the president is calling her out.???
Sanders dismissed concern among Democrats that Trump was inciting violence against Omar, who has received death threats before, and other Muslim Americans.
???The president is wishing no ill will and certainly not violence toward anyone,??? said Sanders. ???But the president is absolutely and should be calling out the congresswoman.???
Omar has come in for a drubbing from the right over a snippet from a speech last month to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair), in which she discussed the problem of Islamophobia and described ???the discomfort of being a second-class citizen???.
???Cair was founded after 9/11,??? Omar said, ???because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.???
In response, Trump tweeted, retweeted then pinned atop his Twitter account a video splicing footage of Omar???s remark with video of the 9/11 attacks, including planes striking the World Trade Center and the Twin Towers falling.
Supported by a wave of Democrats saying Trump was willfully misrepresenting comments by Omar in what amounted to dangerous racist bullying, the congresswoman on Saturday said she would not be silenced by ???an administration that ran on banning Muslims from this country???.
???No one person ??? no matter how corrupt, inept, or vicious ??? can threaten my unwavering love for America,??? Omar tweeted.
Trump???s attack amplified a cover run by the tabloid New York Post, owned by Rupert Murdoch, which splashed a quote from Omar over a picture of the World Trade Center in flames. In response, a group of New York City corner-store owners announced a boycott of the newspaper.
The Yemeni American Merchants Association, which represents Yemeni Americans who own and run an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 of the city???s thousands of delis and corner stores, known as ???bodegas???, wrote that the front page ???provoked hatred??? and ???aims to harm Omar and her family and other people of the Islamic faith???.
???This rhetoric threatens the safety and wellbeing of Omar, Muslim leaders, and the larger Muslim American community at a time when Islamophobia is at an all-time high,??? it added.
Andrew Gillum, a former mayor of Tallahassee who made a strong run in 2018 for the Florida governorship, said on CNN???s State of the Union Trump was ma