Baldwin Frets Omar Is ‘Forced to Defend Her Patriotism’ for Downplaying 9/11

Leave it to weekday afternoon CNN Newsroom host Brooke Baldwin to carry water for Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN), complaining on Thursday that Omar was “forced to defend her patriotism again” after Omar downplayed the Islamic terror attacks on September 11, 2001 as merely “some people did something.” 

And, not surprisingly, Baldwin framed it as a Fox News-fueled controversy, showing no daylight between herself and unabashedly liberal pundits denouncing The New York Post’s Thursday cover with a picture of the second hijacked plane hitting the South Tower of the World Trade Center that fateful Tuesday morning at 9:03 a.m. Eastern.

 

 

In the first of two teases for the Omar segment, Baldwin fretted: “Plus freshman Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar forced to defend her patriotism again. This time, it’s comments she made about 9/11.”

Baldwin asserted in the other tease that Omar was “once again at the center of controversy” thanks to “Fox News and her comments about September 11th.” Sorry, Brooke, but boiling it down to a Fox News controversy is pretty weak.

At 2:32 p.m. Eastern, Baldwin teed up the Omar comments in question by describing the situation as her “doing battle with Fox and Friends over how she described 9/11.” 

Here’s what Omar told a banquet hosted by the Council on America-Islamic Relations (CAIR): “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.” And as a side note, the Hamas-loving group wasn’t founded after 9/11, so Omar didn’t have her facts in order.

Here’s how Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade responsed to Omar on Wednesday’s show:

Some people did something. Like an unprovoked attack, killing people in the Pentagon — thousands in the Pentagon — the Flight 93 as well as in the world trade center. Really? There — “some people did something?” You have to wonder if she's an American First.

After Baldwin played a clip of Omar responded to Kilmeade during a friendly interview with CBS’s Stephen Colbert, Baldwin read a Kilmeade tweet seeking to clarify himself but standing by his calling out of Omar because she was “downgrad[ing] the 9/11 attacks.”

Baldwin then brought on CNN Politics reporter (and former Weekly Standard writer) Michael Warren, who wrote a CNN.com piece with this excerpt framing GOP criticism of Omar as inherently political: “Omar has displaced Nancy Pelosi as the Republicans’ favorite liberal boogeyman, a new face the [Republican Party] could weaponize in an attempt to depict the Democratic party as extreme and out-of-touch.”

Here’s part of what Warren then told Baldwin (click “expand”)

[W]e saw last week, Brooke, a conservative outside group, not officially lined with the Republicans, but closely aligned with the Republican establishment launch a series of ads going after Representative Omar for those comments that she made earlier this year....and then this week the campaign arm of the House Republicans, the National Congressional — Republican Congressional Committee, link her and Rashida Tlaib, the other freshman Muslim woman in Congress, with a new congressional candidate in Michigan saying that they inspired this socialist candidate. And then you saw a blast from the RNC which seemed to have prompted Brian Kilmeade's comments on Fox & Friends linking those comments that Omar made in front of CAIR — to — and suggesting that she was down playing and those are the words the RNC used, downplaying the terrorist attacks. So, you could kind of see at many different levels, Republicans seem to see Omar as a new way of really tagging her with the entire Democratic Party with an eye toward 2020 and those elections then. 

Baldwin only then conceded that Omar has placed “Democrats in a pretty tough position” and Warren agreed that “[t]here are some actual substantive attacks that Republicans are making,” citing Omar’s comment about supporters of Israel in Congress may have dual loyalties. 

But when it comes to her bizarre characterization of 9/11, Warren wondered:

Democrats have this sort of tough decision they have to make. Do they keep her at arm's length because of the sort of strident way that she approaches these things, calling White House aide Stephen Miller a white nationalist or do they sort of circle the wagons. One of their own members is under attack by Republicans and, in some ways, in really unfair ways that’s something that I think Democrats don't want to be having this discussion. They want to be focused on health care. They want to be focused on the economy, but — but Congresswoman Omar has sort of put them in this position. 

To see the relevant transcript from April 11's CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin, click “expand.”

CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin
April 11, 2019
2:13 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Backlash Erupts; Freshman Dem Ilhan Omar Under Fire for 9/11 Comments]

BROOKE BALDWIN: Plus freshman Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar forced to defend her patriotism again. This time, it’s comments she made about 9/11. 

(....)

2:27 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Backlash Erupts; Freshman Dem Ilhan Omar Under Fire for 9/11 Comments]

BALDWIN: Freshman Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar once again at the center of controversy. This one involving Fox News and her comments about September 11th. 

(....)

2:32 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: New Controversy; Freshman Dem Ilhan Omar Under Fire for 9/11 Comments]

BALDWIN: Freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar certainly stranger to controversy since becoming one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress, but now she's doing battle with Fox and Friends over how she described 9/11. 

CONGRESSWOMAN ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): 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. 

BRIAN KILMEADE [on Fox & Friends, 04/10/19]: Some people did something. Like an unprovoked attack, killing people in the Pentagon,

STEVE DOOCY [on Fox & Friends, 04/10/19]: Thousands

KILMEADE: — thousands in the Pentagon -- the Flight 93 as well as in the world trade center. Really? There — “some people did something?” You have to wonder if she's an American First. 

BALDWIN: Well, the Congresswoman hit back during an appearance with Stephen Colbert. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: New Controversy; Rep Omar Fires Back: “I Am as American as Everybody Else”]

OMAR [on CBS’s The Late Show, 04/11/19]: So when you have people on Fox News that question whether I am actually American, or I put America first, I expect my colleagues to also say that’s not okay, like they should —

STEPHEN COLBERT [on CBS’s The Late Show, 04/11/19]: That happened this morning.

OMAR [on CBS’s The Late Show, 04/11/19]:— shouldn't condone that and call that out. Exactly

COLBERT [on CBS’s The Late Show, 04/11/19]: On the — on the — on the friendly — on Fox & Friends this morning

OMAR [on CBS’s The Late Show, 04/11/19]: Right or when — or when people call me a terrorist or when people say that, you know, because I'm a Muslim, I'm an immigrant, I'm a refugee that I can't have any loyalty to our country. I took an oath. I took an oath to uphold the Constitution. I am as American as everyone else is. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

BALDWIN: And then there is more from Fox’s Brian Kilmeade. He took to Twitter and this is what he wrote: “I didn’t intend to question whether [Congresswoman] Omar is an American - I am questioning how any American, let alone a United States Congresswoman, could downgrade the 9/11 attacks.” CNN reporter Michael Warren is with me and Michael, you wrote this piece for CNN Politics this morning and you said: “Omar has displaced Nancy Pelosi as the Republicans’ favorite liberal boogeyman, a new face the [Republican Party] could weaponize in an attempt to depict the Democratic party as extreme and out-of-touch.” So let's start there. Just about talking about to me how the Republicans have been taking her on. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: New Controversy; Freshman Dem Ilhan Omar Under Fire for 9/11 Comments]

MICHAEL WARREN: That’s right. Well, we saw last week, Brooke, a conservative outside group, not officially lined with the Republicans, but closely aligned with the Republican establishment launch a series of ads going after Representative Omar for those comments that she made earlier this year that a lot members including Democrat members, considered anti-Semitic and then this week the campaign arm of the House Republicans, the National Congressional — Republican Congressional Committee, link her and Rashida Tlaib, the other freshman Muslim woman in Congress, with a new congressional candidate in Michigan saying that they inspired this socialist candidate. And then you saw a blast from the RNC which seemed to have prompted Brian Kilmeade's comments on Fox & Friends linking those comments that Omar made in front of CAIR — to — and suggesting that she was down playing and those are the words the RNC used, downplaying the terrorist attacks. So, you could kind of see at many different levels, Republicans seem to see Omar as a new way of really tagging her with the entire Democratic Party with an eye toward 2020 and those elections then. 

BALDWIN: But on the flip side, as you point out, you know, she also puts Democrats in a pretty tough position. 

WARREN: That is right. There are some actual substantive attacks that Republicans are making, that, again, Democrats were very uncomfortable with those remarks that she made, ironically suggesting that members of Congress who support Israel may not be — may have dual loyalties. A lot of members of Congress, a lot of Jewish Democrats saw those as reminiscent of anti-Semitic attacks so Democrats have this sort of tough decision they have to make. Do they keep her at arm's length because of the sort of strident way that she approaches these things, calling White House aide Stephen Miller a white nationalist or do they sort of circle the wagons. One of their own members is under attack by Republicans and, in some ways, in really unfair ways that’s something that I think Democrats don't want to be having this discussion. They want to be focused on health care. They want to be focused on the economy, but — but Congresswoman Omar has sort of put them in this position. 

BALDWIN: Michael Warren, thank you —

WARREN: Thanks, Brooke.

BALDWIN: — for that. 

NB Daily Congress 9/11 Israel/Palestine CAIR Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Fox News Channel Fox & Friends CNN CNN Newsroom Video Brooke Baldwin Brian Kilmeade Ilhan Omar
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