- Donald Trump repeated an unverified rumor than Rep. Ilhan Omar married her brother to get him entry into the US on Wednesday.
- “There’s a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother. I know nothing about it,” Trump said in response to a question from right-wing outlet OANN.
- The claim that Omar’s second husband, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, is her brother was first made by US conservative blog Power Line in 2016, who cited claims made on a Somali political forum.
- Omar labelled the claim “disgusting lies” in October 2018.
- Omar, and three other non-white Congresswoman, were told to “go back” to their “crime infested” countries by Trump on Sunday after they criticized his administration, triggering a nationwide backlash to the racist comments.
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President Donald Trump on Wednesday echoed an unverified claim that Rep. Ilhan Omar married her brother to secure his entry to the US.
Trump, asked about the rumor by a reporter from the right-wing network OANN, said: “There’s a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother.”
“I know nothing about it. I hear 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,” Trump said, before heading to a rally in Greenville, North Carolina.
13 PHOTOSMinnesota Rep. Ilhan OmarSee GalleryMinnesota Rep. Ilhan OmarDemocratic congressional candidate the Midterm elections, Ilhan Omar, speaks to a group of volunteers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on October 13, 2018. – Somali-American state legislator Ilhan Omar claimed victory in her primary in Minnesota in August, putting her on track to become one of the first female Muslim members of the US House of Representatives. (Photo by Kerem YUCEL / AFP)(Photo credit should read KEREM YUCEL/AFP/Getty Images)Ilhan Omar, Democratic congressional candidate, poses for a selfie with a supporter and her son while campaigning in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on October 13, 2018. – Somali-American state legislator Ilhan Omar claimed victory in her primary in Minnesota in August, putting her on track to become one of the first female Muslim members of the US House of Representatives. (Photo by Kerem YUCEL / AFP)(Photo credit should read KEREM YUCEL/AFP/Getty Images)Ilhan Omar headshot, as Minnesota State Representative, graphic element on grayFILE – In this Jan. 5, 2017, file photo, new State Rep. Ilhan Omar is interviewed in her office two days after the 2017 Legislature convened in St. Paul, Minn. Omar, already the first Somali-American to be elected to a state legislature, is jumping into a crowded race for a Minnesota congressional seat. Omar filed Tuesday, June 5, 2018, for the Minneapolis-area seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)FILE – In this Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017 file photo, State Rep. Ilhan Omar takes the oath of office as the 2017 legislature convened in St. Paul, Minn. Omar, a Muslim, is the nation’s first Somali-American to be elected to a state legislature. Religion’s role in politics and social policies is in the spotlight heading toward the midterm elections, yet relatively few Americans consider it crucial that a candidate be devoutly religious or share their religious beliefs, according to an AP-NORC national poll conducted Aug. 16-20, 2018. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, left, laughs while speaking with an attendee during the Democratic Farmer Labor (DFL) Party endorsement convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., on Sunday, June 17, 2018. The DFL will endorse a primary candidate for the seat of Representative Keith Ellison, a democrat from Minnesota, as he runs for state attorney general. Photographer: Emilie Richardson/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesMinnesota Representative Ilhan Omar speaks during the Democratic Farmer Labor (DFL) Party endorsement convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., on Sunday, June 17, 2018. The DFL will endorse a primary candidate for the seat of Representative Keith Ellison, a democrat from Minnesota, as he runs for state attorney general. Photographer: Emilie Richardson/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesNEW YORK, NY – APRIL 21:Ilhan Omar attends the premiere of ‘Time For Ilhan’ during the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival at Cinepolis Chelsea on April 21, 2018 in New York City.(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)In this Aug. 16, 2018 photo, Democrat Ilhan Omar, the nation’s first Somali-American legislator who won her party’s congressional primary in the race, talks during an interview at Peace Coffee in Minneapolis. Just two years ago, the Minnesota Democrat became the first Somali-American elected to a state legislature. Now she’s likely to become one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. (AP Photo/Jeff Baenen)NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 21:Amal Sabrie, Isra Hirsi, Ilhan Omar, Ilwad Hirsi, Ahmed Hirsi, Adnan Hirsi attend the premiere of ‘Time For Ilhan’ during the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival at Cinepolis Chelsea on April 21, 2018 in New York City.(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)Ilhan Omar, candidate for State Representative for District 60B in Minnesota, arrives for her victory party on election night, November 8, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Omar, a refugee from Somalia, is the first Somali-American Muslim woman to hold public office. / AFP / STEPHEN MATUREN(Photo credit should read STEPHEN MATUREN/AFP/Getty Images)UNITED STATES – FEBRUARY 07: Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., attends a rally on the East Front of the Capitol with groups including United We Dream, calling on Congress to defund Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Thursday, February 7, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)UNITED STATES – FEBRUARY 13: Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., attends a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing in Rayburn Building titled ‘Venezuela at a Crossroads,’ on Wednesday, February 13, 2019. Elliott Abrams, U.S. special representative for Venezuela, testified. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)Up Next
Omar called the claims “absurd and offensive” in 2016, and “disgusting lies” in October 2018
The claim that Ahmed Nur Said Elmi was actually Omar’s brother first gained traction in the US in 2016 after a post by conservative blog “Power Line,” which pounced on allegations made on SomaliSpot, a politics forum in the country of Omar’s birth, Somalia.
Omar was running for Minnesota’s state legislature at the time, and was elected successfully.
In 2017 Omar was granted a divorce from Elmi, but when Omar ran for Congress in 2018, the claim was resurfaced, and a website set up by Republican Party members in Minnesota’s 5th District stated:
“Divorcing a husband isn’t usually a major topic of interest for the general public. However, when the husband of this state lawmaker was alleged to have been Omar’s brother, the voters should seek the truth.”
Read more: Trump supporters chant ‘send her back’ as the president attacks Ilhan Omar at rally in North Carolina
J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images
Omar, one of the first two Muslim women to ever serve in Congress, was born in Somalia. She became a US citizen when she was 17.
Read more: Weeks of Democratic infighting between Nancy Pelosi and ‘the Squad’ preceded Trump’s racist tweet attacks
Omar is currently in Trump’s crosshairs after she, and three other non-white Congresswomen, were told by the president to “go back” to their “corrupt” and “crime infested” countries after they criticized his administration.
Trump on Tuesday rejected the notion the tweet was racist, saying he doesn’t have a “racist bone” in his body.
Read more: Republican silence on Trump’s racist tweets shows how fearful they’ve become of defying him and losing voters
Trump says the four lawmakers — Rep. Omar, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Ayanna Presley, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib — “hate” America, and should leave the country.
Getty/Lars Niki, AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, Associated Press
After repeating the claim Omar was related to her brother, Trump told another reporter he’s “winning the political argument” against the four lawmakers, known as “The Squad.”
Of the claims, independent fact-checking website Snopes wrote: “We found no public records or credible sources contradicting Omar’s account of her past, nor any substantive evidence corroborating claims that Elmi is her brother or that their marriage was otherwise fraudulent. In addition, some of the claims offered in support of the rumor don’t seem to add up.”
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