Omar defends Somalia: 'That shithole country raised a very proud, dignified person'

Omar defends Somalia: 'That shithole country raised a very proud, dignified person'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSanders 'very concerned about what appears to be a coup' in Bolivia Overnight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite Ilhan Omar blasts Pete King as an 'Islamophobe' after he announces retirement: 'Good riddance' MORE (D-Minn.) on Tuesday criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment MORE's January 2018 remarks calling Haiti, El Salvador and some African nations "shithole countries." 

Speaking alongside activist Angela Davis and other black progressives such as Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyJustice Democrats official denies that progressives struggle with electability The Hill's Campaign Report: Bloomberg looks to upend Democratic race Progressive freshmen jump into leadership PAC fundraising MORE (D-Mass.) at a rally outside the Capitol, Omar defended her birth country of Somalia. 

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"And I also, also happen to be a refugee and an immigrant from what they call one of the shithole countries," Omar told the crowd, according to a Facebook video. "The reality is, that shithole country raised a very proud, dignified person."

"Our circumstances might not always be perfect," Omar continued. "But that doesn't lessen our humanity, and I am not in the business of defending mine."

Tuesday's rally was billed the #WeStandWithIlhan rally in support of Omar, who was the subject of recent criticism from conservatives and Trump himself over her comments about 9/11 and others about Israel.

Omar, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, was also the subject of a video tweeted by the president which interspersed her remarks about civil rights for Muslims in America after 9/11 with footage of the Twin Towers falling in the attacks.

The freshman lawmaker was also the target of a display set up by Republicans in the West Virginia Statehouse that surrounded her photo with images of the 9/11 attacks and the text "Never forget" and "I am the proof — you have forgotten."

Democratic presidential candidates including Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerThe Hill's Campaign Report: Bloomberg looks to upend Democratic race Poll: Biden support hits record low of 26 percent The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump demands Bidens testify MORE (D-N.J.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersTech firms face skepticism over California housing response Press: Another billionaire need not apply Ex-Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick mulling 2020 run: report MORE (I-Vt.) have accused Republicans of stoking Islamophobia with their criticism of the freshman Democrat.

“The criticisms of Congresswoman Omar, what Donald Trump has been saying about her, is reprehensible, it is trafficking in Islamophobia, and it should be condemned by everyone," Booker said last month.