Omar stops traffic with impromptu news conference blasting Trump

In a chaotic moment outside the Capitol, Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarAl Green calls for including Trump's 'racism' in impeachment articles Republicans disavow GOP candidate who said 'we should hang' Omar Hillicon Valley: Trump officials propose retaliatory tariffs over French digital tax | FBI classifies FaceApp as threat | Twitter revamps policies to comply with privacy laws | Zuckerberg defends political ads policy MORE (D-Minn.) — trailed by a mob of cameramen and reporters — stopped in the middle of Independence Avenue, shut down two lanes of traffic and gave an impromptu news conference responding to Trump supporters who chanted at President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments MORE's rally Wednesday that she should leave the country.

"I am not [scared for my safety]. What I'm scared for is the safety for people who share my identity,” Omar told a gaggle of journalists on Thursday.

"This is not about me. This is about fighting for what this country should be and what it deserves to be."

ADVERTISEMENT

CNN's Manu Raju recorded video of reporters asking questions to Omar.

Her remarks came a day after Trump attacked four freshman Democratic congresswomen of color during a rally in North Carolina on Wednesday night. As Trump singled out Omar, the crowd began chanting “send her back!” — a nod to Trump’s earlier comments that the four minority women should “go back” to their own countries.

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez on food assistance cuts: 'If this happened then, we might've just starved' Youth climate activists grade top 2020 Democrats on Green New Deal commitment Sanders to join youth climate strikers in Iowa MORE (D-N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibHouse moves ahead on long-stalled resolution supporting two states for Israelis and Palestinians GOP leader says he had 'a hard time' believing Pelosi Al Green calls for including Trump's 'racism' in impeachment articles MORE (D-Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyAl Green calls for including Trump's 'racism' in impeachment articles Warren adds Ayanna Pressley as campaign co-chair Warren speech in Georgia interrupted by pro-charter school protesters MORE (D-Mass.) were all born in the United States. Omar was born in war-torn Somalia, spent four years in a Kenyan refugee camp, sought asylum in the U.S. in 1992 and became a U.S. citizen in 2000.

Because of the size of the media scrum and the fact that Omar continued walking, a veteran Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer tripped over a curb and tumbled hard to the ground, causing Omar to help him back to his feet. Other reporters bumped into a car waiting to exit the jammed Capitol grounds, prompting a lawmaker to get out of the car and begin screaming at the press gaggle. The lawmaker was ignored.

When asked if Trump’s remarks are “racist,” Omar stopped in the middle of the eastbound lanes of Independence Avenue to answer the question, causing about 20 TV cameramen, photographers and reporters to block traffic.

“The fact that you’re still asking that question is really what’s wrong here, because we have said this president is racist," she said. "We have condemned his remarks. I believe he is fascist."

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) “defended his comments by saying that if I was wearing a MAGA hat, if there was a Somali person wearing a MAGA hat, they would not be deported, but because I criticized the president, I should be deported,” Omar said as cars began honking and a Capitol Police officer yelled out that the lawmaker and reporters should not block the intersection.

“I want to remind people that this is what this president and his supporters have turned our country [into] that is supposed to be a country where we allow democratic debate and dissent to take place,” Omar continued. “This is not about me; this is about us fighting for what this country truly should be and what it deserves to be.”