Black Caucus warns Trump is putting Omar's life at risk

Leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) warned Monday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE is endangering the life of one of their members, Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarDems seek to rein in calls for impeachment Nancy Pelosi had disastrous first 100 days as Speaker of the House The silencing of American Muslims MORE (D-Minn.), with his attacks suggesting the freshman lawmaker downplayed the 9/11 terror attacks.

"He is really putting the congresswoman's life at risk,” Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonDe Blasio vows to take Trump to court over sanctuary city proposal The Hill's Morning Report - Waiting on Mueller: Answers come on Thursday Dems rally behind Omar as Trump escalates attacks MORE (D-Miss.), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee and a prominent member of the CBC, told reporters on a conference call Monday.

Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassThe Hill's Morning Report - Waiting on Mueller: Answers come on Thursday Dems rally behind Omar as Trump escalates attacks Black Caucus warns Trump is putting Omar's life at risk MORE (D-Calif.), the CBC chairwoman, delivered a similar warning.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The president, who should be serving as a bridge to bring people together, has once again shown his divisiveness with really putting her in danger,” she said.

Like Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Julián Castro: Trump should be impeached for trying to obstruct justice 'in very concrete ways' Swalwell on impeachment: 'We're on that road' after Mueller report MORE (D-Calif.), Thompson said he is asking for a review of security in place for Omar in Washington and her Minnesota district.

Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.), who like Omar is a Muslim, called the security assessments “overdue” given that Omar had already expressed concern to him about security threats a month ago.

“I think that this is a unique threat. I have found the sergeant at arms to be too slow to respond to death threats as it relates to certain members of Congress,” Carson said. “FBI and local police ... [have been] quicker to respond because it's something they deal with probably on a regular basis.”

He later clarified: "I don't think that there is an anti-Muslim underlying factor as it relates to the sergeant at arms. … I just think it's new."

Thompson acknowledged that the sergeant at arms has “a fairly rigorous process they go through and sometimes that is time-consuming.”

Omar, one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress, stirred controversy last week when month-old comments she delivered to the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights group, circulated across conservative media. In that speech, Omar condemned those who blamed all Muslims for the 9/11 attacks based on the actions of a few extremists.

"CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties," she said.

Trump elevated the issue on Friday in a tweet that cut her edited comments with scenes from the 9/11 attacks. Since then, Omar says she’s received a rash of new death threats, prompting Pelosi to speak directly with the House sergeant at arms to ensure steps are being taken to ensure Omar’s safety.

Pelosi also suggested Trump had made Omar a more prominent target of anti-Muslim violence, saying “his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger.” And CBC leaders on Monday quickly piled on.

“His actions have endangered Ilhan, all Muslims, and all people that he has targeted unfairly,” Carson said.

Carson characterized Trump’s Omar tweet as “a new low,” but said it fits a larger “pattern” of a president acting to enliven his conservative base by attacking minorities.

“Trump's rhetoric helps fuel the anger that drove a white nationalist to gun down 50 worshippers praying at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand,” Carson said, referring to the shooting massacre last month targeting Muslims. “I'm not saying he's responsible, but it's contributing to a very hostile atmosphere that we live in right now.”