Omar After Trump Attacks Her Somali Roots Again: Why Are You So Obsessed With Me?

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 25: Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) speaks at a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol July 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. Omar introduced the ZERO WASTE Act, which would create a federal grant program t... WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 25: Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) speaks at a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol July 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. Omar introduced the ZERO WASTE Act, which would create a federal grant program to help local governments invest in waste reduction initiatives. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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September 23, 2020 8:27 a.m.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) hit back at President Donald Trump following his racist attack on her Somali roots at his Pennsylvania campaign rally Tuesday night.

“How about Omar of Minnesota?” Trump said at a rally in Moon Township, Pennsylvania before suggesting that the Minnesota Democrat did not have the right to lead.

“Firstly, this is my country and I am a member of the House that impeached you,” Omar said in a tweet.

“She’s telling us how to run our country,” Trump told supporters, taking aim at Omar. “How did you do where you came from? How’s your country doing? She’s going to tell us — she’s telling us how to run our country.”

Omar, noting that she fled civil war as an 8-year-old replied on Twitter: “An 8-year-old doesn’t run a country even though you run our country like one.”

The comments came after Trump followed a predictable formula of race-baiting to a jeering crowd in the Pittsburgh suburb that he has used many times before.

In 2019, Trump tweeted that Omar was among a group of progressive Democratic congresswomen who needed to “go back” to their “broken and crime infested” countries. 

Within a few days of the tweets, a crowd of Trump supporters at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina, jeered  “send her back!” in reference to Omar.

During remarks in Minnesota, last week, Trump praised a crowd of largely white attendees for their “good genes” and promoted conspiracy theories about Omar’s family life, saying that she and two other women of color in Congress should be prosecuted.

“We’ll prosecute ’em. Yeah. Why not?” Trump said to cheering supporters in Bemidji, Minnesota.

In a second tweet Tuesday, Omar replied by sharing a meme from the 2004 film “Mean Girls” featuring Rachel McAdams as Regina George — a central character in the teen classic. Captioned above the meme, Omar wrote that the President’s “cult-like rallies” leave her wondering one thing — why the President is so “obsessed” with her? 

But perhaps the reason for the President’s repeated targeting of Omar is obvious — to  Trump it doesn’t seem to matter that Omar is a U.S. citizen who was naturalized after fleeing war-torn Somalia as a child. Instead he has continued to use Omar as a target to ignite his base using a playbook that thrives on race-baiting, fear-mongering around immigration and culture wars. 

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