Rubio shares edited interview clip, calls Omar ‘racist’

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) shared an edited portion of an interview with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and accused the congresswoman’s remarks of being “racist” against white people. 

The 40-second clip Rubio shared is part of a 10-minute interview Omar did with Al Jazeera in February 2018, when she was running for Congress. The edited clip Rubio shared was resurfaced by the Christian Broadcasting Network this week. 

In it, Omar says “Our country should be more fearful of white men across our country because they are actually causing most of the deaths within this country.”{mosads}

The clip then abruptly jumps to Omar saying, “we should be profiling, monitoring and creating policies to fight the radicalization of white men.” 

“I am sure the media will now hound every Democrat to denounce this statement as racist. Right?,” Rubio tweeted with the edited clip.

Mehdi Hasan, the Al Jazeera host who interviewed Omar in the clip, tweeted asking Rubio to delete his tweet and apologize.
“You’re sharing a selectively-edited video from my show @AJUpFront to make @IlhanMN look bad and increase the number of death threats she already gets. Shame on you,” Hasan said.
In the full interview, published on Al Jazeera’s YouTube page, Omar’s suggestion of “profiling” white men was in response to how she feels over fear of “Jihadist terrorism.” 

The missing statement in the edited clip Rubio shared is “so if fear was the driving force of policies to keep America safe, Americans safe inside of this country we should be profiling … white men.” 

She continues by saying “the focus of our policies should be about keeping Americans safe, keeping us domestically safe. And where we actually find a solution is looking at our foreign policy, how we are engaging with the members of these communities and the kind of rhetoric that is being spewed out of leaders within our city halls, within our state capitols.”

After Rubio called on media to “hound every Democrat” to denounce Omar’s out-of-context statement from February, journalists were quick to respond, citing the editing of the freshman representative’s prior comments. 

“This is a selectively edited clip. The full interview is here – and shows that Rep. Omar isn’t saying anything ‘racist’ but rather making nuanced (accurate) points about the threat posed by white supremacist terror compared to Muslim terror,” tweeted Washington Post journalist Wesley Lowery.

The Post’s Dave Weigel fired back that “ ‘the media’ will look for the entire clip and realize it’s been cut to get this sort of reaction.”

Robby Soave, an editor with, initially tweeted the clip himself, saying it’s “pretty terrible stuff.”

He later retracted his statement and deleted his tweet, calling the video “misleadingly edited.”

“The video is misleadingly edited, and longer video makes it clear she was criticizing hypocrisy, not calling for surveillance of white people,” Soave tweeted, with a screenshot of the since-deleted tweet.

When asked for his response to the tweets calling out his sharing of the edited clip, Rubio said “These questions prove my point.”
“If a Republican grouped all men of any background or ethnicity together, in any negative context – especially terrorism – many in the media would immediately demand that other Republicans disavow their statement. But when Rep. Omar suggested white men – ‪not white supremacists or white nationalists, white men – pose a greater danger than jihadists, many in the ‪media rushed to her defense, and attacked me for pointing out this double standard.”
Rubio did not respond to The Hill’s question about whether he was aware the video was edited before sharing.
Recently President Trump renewed his attacks on Omar, one of four progressive congresswomen the president tweeted should “go back” where they came from. 

Later, a crowd at a recent Trump rally chanted “send her back” when the president criticized her. 

Rubio called out the president’s tweet and the chant, calling them “wrong” and “grotesque.” But, he explicitly would not call the tweet or chant racist.

“It’s a stupid game that I refuse to play,” Rubio said last week of denouncing Trump’s remarks as racist. 

Updated: 5:35 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Ilhan Omar Marco Rubio

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