Rush Limbaugh on 'send her back' chants at Trump rally: 'Much ado about nothing'

Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh on Friday downplayed the "send her back" chant aimed at Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTrump to return to North Carolina to stump for special election candidate Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Israel should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support MORE (D-Minn.) from President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE's rally this week, arguing the chant was "innocent" and the resulting political firestorm is "much ado about nothing."

Limbaugh, a staunch supporter of Trump, weighed in one day after the president distanced himself from the chant, saying he was "not happy" with the audience moment in Greenville, N.C., on Wednesday night that has since dominated the political discussion.

"Much ado about nothing," Limbaugh said Friday on "Fox & Friends" during a satellite interview from his radio studio in Florida.

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"Ilhan Omar herself hates Israel," he later said. "She's been uttering anti-Semitic statements. The House comes up with a resolution, doesn't even mention her name. And yet some people at a Trump rally make some innocent little chat borne of fun and Washington comes to a halt and everybody gets up, 'Oh my God, oh my God, did you hear that?' It's nothing."

"You know, we have this two sets of rules circumstance here, and all this is, is designed to get conservative Republicans acting as though they're guilty of racism, bigotry, sexism and homophobia, and it's all made up," Limbaugh added.

"We conservatives love people, Steve," he concluded to co-host Steve Doocy. "We want the best for everybody. We want everybody to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that living in this country affords everybody. And we want everybody to be able to have the opportunity to be the best they want to be, using the ambition, desire they have it. All we ask, all we ask is that you love your country, that you do your best to help other people love the country. There’s no reason to hate this country."

A number of GOP lawmakers said Thursday they were not comfortable with the rhetoric from Trump's rally, saying they did not want it to become a narrative for the GOP heading into the 2020 election cycle.

While the president said he disagreed with the "send her back" chant, Trump issued a series of tweets Friday morning taking issue with media coverage of the chant.

"It is amazing how the Fake News Media became 'crazed' over the chant 'send her back' by a packed Arena (a record) crowd in the Great State of North Carolina, but is totally calm & accepting of the most vile and disgusting statements made by the three Radical Left Congresswomen," Trump tweeted. 

"Mainstream Media, which has lost all credibility, has either officially or unofficially become a part of the Radical Left Democrat Party," he added. "It is a sick partnership, so pathetic to watch!"

The rally moment came a day after Democrats in the House passed a measure condemning previous comments from Trump as racist.

Trump sparked the latest political storm on Sunday when he tweeted that Omar and three other Democratic congresswomen — all U.S. citizens and members of minority groups — should "go back" to their home countries.

Each of the congresswomen was born in the U.S. with the exception of Omar, who was born in Somalia and immigrated to the United States as a refugee.