Olivia Tobin, Evening Standard, July 18, 2019
Donald Trump has suggested congresswoman Ilhan Omar is married to her brother, in the latest jibe in their long-running feud.
The US president hinted at incest between Ms Omar and her partner in footage released before a rally in which he led called to send the politician “back” away from America.
Mr Trump said: “There’s a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother. I know nothing about it. I heard she was married to her brother.
“You’re asking me a question about it. I don’t know, but I’m sure that somebody will be looking at that.”
Launching a fresh tirade at a campaign rally in North Carolina, the president later unloaded a list of complaints against Ilhan Omar, one of the Democratic lawmakers known as “the squad”.
He accused the Congresswoman of having a history of anti-Semitism and blaming terrorists attacks on the US.
Supporters of the president began to shout “Send them home” in chorus as he targeted her during the rally on Wednesday night.
Ms Omar, the first Somali-American woman elected to the US House, has previously denounced claims she married her brother and hailed accusations as “disgusting lies”.
Mr Trump’s comments came after he was widely condemned for his “racist” tweets about four congresswomen, where he was accused of making “comments that legitimised fear and hatred of new Americans and people of colour”.
“She slandered the brave Americans who were trying to keep peace in Somalia. Omar minimised the September 11 attacks on our homeland saying some people did something,” Mr Trump told supporters at Wednesday’s rally.
Ms Omar and the three other members of the “squad” democratic representatives — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressle, and Rashida Tlaib — have been targets for Mr Trump in recent days.
Following Wednesday’s rally, Ms Omar received widespread support as the #IStandWithlhan tag began to trend.
Bernie Sanders tweeted: “Trump knows that when we stand together and fight for racial, social, economic and environmental justice, we have the power to defeat him.
“So the demagogue is doing what he knows best: Divide and conquer through hate. His attacks only make us stronger. #IStandWithIlhan.”
In a tweet following the rally, Ms Omar quoted American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou.
She wrote: “You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.”
The congresswoman later shared an image of herself in the House, with the caption: “I am where I belong, at the people’s house and you’re just going to have to deal!”
[Editor’s Note: In comments to reporters Thursday, Trump denounced his supporters’ chant: “I was not happy with it. I disagree with it. But again, I didn’t say that. They did. But I disagree with it.”]