Ilhan Omar, one of the first Muslim women elected to the United States Congress, said on Sunday that she has faced increased death threats since President Donald Trump tweeted an edited video that purports to show her being dismissive of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
“This is endangering lives,” she said. “It has to stop.”
Her statement late on Sunday followed an announcement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that she has taken steps to ensure the safety of the Minnesota Democrat and the speaker’s call for Trump to take down the video.
Soon after Pelosi’s statement, the video disappeared as a pinned tweet at the top of Trump’s Twitter feed, but it was not deleted.
Pelosi was among the Democrats who had criticised Trump over the tweet, with some accusing him of trying to incite violence against the Muslim politician. An upstate New York man was recently charged with making death threats against her.
Speaking to US media earlier on Sunday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defended Trump, saying the president has a duty to highlight Omar’s history of making comments that others deem anti-Semitic or otherwise offensive and that he wished no “ill will” upon the first-term politician.
Trump on Monday tweeted that Omar is “out of control” and criticised Pelosi for defending the Minnesota Democrat.