Nets Run Wild With Dem Claims of Trump ‘Inciting Violence’ Against Omar

On Monday, all three network morning shows recited the same nasty accusations from Democrats that President Trump was “inciting violence” against left-wing Congresswoman Ilhan Omar simply by criticizing her offensive comments downplaying the September 11th attacks. Glossing over Omar’s incendiary rhetoric, hosts and correspondents feared for the liberal lawmaker’s safety.

“Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is taking on the President, saying she is now facing death threats after he tweeted about her controversial comments on the 9/11 attacks,” co-host Savannah Guthrie warned on NBC’s Today show. The headline on screen blared: “Rep. Omar Says Death Threats Have Increased; Comes After President Trump’s Twin Towers Tweet.”

 

 

In the report that followed, White House correspondent Kristen Welker hyped:

This morning, tensions reaching a fever pitch between President Donald Trump and freshman Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Omar saying overnight she’s receiving an increase in death threats, following a tweet Friday from the President, accusing her of downplaying the September 11th terror attacks.

The reporter framed the controversy over Omar’s comments this way: “The backlash against Omar, a Somali-American who is one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, ignited by what critics are calling her controversial comments about the 9/11 attacks last month during her speech to the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR.”

After playing a soundbite of the offensive remarks, Welker again emphasized that Omar’s dismissive phrase that “some people did something” on 9/11 was “striking her critics as an insensitive way to refer to the worst terror attack in American history.” Apparently only “critics” of the Democrat were concerned.

Touting the President’s alleged incitement, Welker noted: “Prompting the President to tweet, ‘We will never forget!,’ to his nearly 60 million followers, including video that repeatedly played Omar’s reference to ‘some people’ then cutting to images of the World Trade Center burning.”

The segment then turned to Omar denouncing Trump: “Violent crimes and other acts of hate by right-wing extremists and white nationalists are on the rise in this country and around the world. We can no longer ignore that they are being encouraged by the occupant of the highest office in the land.”

That was followed up by quoting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi piling on: “‘The President’s words weigh a ton,’ Pelosi said, ‘and his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger.’”

On ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts sounded the alarm: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is saying she’ll take steps to ensure freshman Representative Ilhan Omar’s safety after President Trump targeted her on Twitter after a remark about 9/11.” The on-screen headline matched her sensationalism: “Trump Targets Freshman Lawmaker; Growing Outrage Over President’s Twitter Attack.”

Senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce tried to paint Trump as the perpetrator: “Well, overnight, the freshman Congresswoman says she has seen an increase in direct threats against her life after President Trump tweeted a video mixing footage of the Congresswoman, who is Muslim, giving a recent speech with footage of the 9/11 attacks.”

Only after promoting Omar and Pelosi’s condemnations of Trump did Bruce acknowledge what Omar said about September 11th. Even then, the reporter attempted to explain away the comments: “Democrats say that Omar’s recent comment that, quote, ‘some people did something’ on 9/11 is being taken out of context. They say that she was really discussing discrimination against Muslim Americans.”

CBS This Morning was no different from the NBC and ABC broadcasts as co-host Gayle King proclaimed: “One of the first Muslim women to serve in Congress, Democrat Ilhan Omar, says she has faced an increase in death threats following a controversial tweet by President Trump.” Viewers would have to wait until the end of the report to find out why the President was criticizing Omar.

Correspondent Ed O’Keefe kept up the victimization theme:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is asking the U.S. Capitol Police to conduct a security assessment for Congressman Omar. The Speaker is one of many Democrats now accusing the President of trying to incite violence against the first-term lawmaker, who has previously has had death threats made against her.

The headline on screen declared: “Threats Against Rep. Omar; Congresswoman, Dems Accuse President of Inciting Violence With Tweet About 9/11 Comments.”

The one unique aspect of the CBS story came when O’Keefe highlighted another one of Omar’s critics:

Texas Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw was one of the earliest critics, calling her comments, “Unbelievable.” Following outcry from Democrats, he followed up Friday, writing, “When someone calls out a public official for things they said, it is not endangering life or inciting violence. Claiming otherwise is just an attempt to silence your critics.”

In all of the network coverage Monday morning, that quote from Crenshaw was the only mention of Democrats having cynical political motivations for their outrage at Trump.

No public figure should ever receive death threats, period. However, most public figures have sadly been recipients of them. Omar is not the first public official to deal with this. The President receives death threats on a regular basis, along with other members of Congress of both parties. As Crenshaw pointed out, arguing that any legitimate criticism of a political opponent is hateful or “inciting violence” is just an effort to shut down debate.

The media happily obliged. Rather than focus on the controversy swirling around Omar, reporters were eager portray her as the victim, with Trump predictably cast as the villain.

This all came after ABC and CBS were slow to even report on Omar’s 9/11 comments.

Here is a full transcript of the April 15 report on the Today show:

7:07 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: To politics now. This morning, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is taking on the President, saying she is now facing death threats after he tweeted about her controversial comments on the 9/11 attacks. NBC’s White House correspondent Kristen Welker catches us up on this one. Kristen, good morning.

KRISTEN WELKER: Hi, Savannah, good morning to you. This is the latest escalation between President Trump and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, with Omar accusing the President of endangering lives with his tweets, imploring the President, to quote, “It has to stop.”

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Rep. Omar Says Death Threats Have Increased; Comes After President Trump’s Twin Towers Tweet]

This morning, tensions reaching a fever pitch between President Donald Trump and freshman Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Omar saying overnight she’s receiving an increase in death threats, following a tweet Friday from the President, accusing her of downplaying the September 11th terror attacks.

The backlash against Omar, a Somali-American who is one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, ignited by what critics are calling her controversial comments about the 9/11 attacks last month during her speech to the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR.

REP. 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.

WELKER: That phrase, “Some people did something,” striking her critics as an insensitive way to refer to the worst terror attack in American history. Prompting the President to tweet, “We will never forget!,” to his nearly 60 million followers, including video that repeatedly played Omar’s reference to “some people” then cutting to images of the World Trade Center burning.

Omar issuing a statement overnight, saying in part, “Violent crimes and other acts of hate by right-wing extremists and white nationalists are on the rise in this country and around the world. We can no longer ignore that they are being encouraged by the occupant of the highest office in the land.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanding the President remove the video, saying she spoke with the House Sergeant at Arms to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family, and her staff. “The President’s words weigh a ton,” Pelosi said, “and his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defending the President on Sunday.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS [THIS WEEK/ABC]: Certainly the President is wishing no ill will, and certainly not violence, towards anyone. But the President is absolutely and should be calling out the Congresswoman for her, not only one-time, but history of anti-Semitic comments.

WELKER: Now, Omar has sparked backlash in the past. Shortly after taking office, she was she was admonished by Speaker Pelosi for making comments that some felt were anti-Semitic. Omar later apologized. In just hours, the President will actually visit Omar’s home state of Minnesota for an event focused on a very different topic, taxes. Savannah and Willie?  

Here is a full transcript of the report on GMA:

7:07 AM ET

ROBIN ROBERTS: From the White House to Capitol Hill, where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is saying she’ll take steps to ensure freshman Representative Ilhan Omar’s safety after President Trump targeted her on Twitter after a remark about 9/11. Senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce has more on all that. Good morning, Mary.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trump Targets Freshman Lawmaker; Growing Outrage Over President’s Twitter Attack]

MARY BRUCE: Good morning, Robin. Well, overnight, the freshman Congresswoman says she has seen an increase in direct threats against her life after President Trump tweeted a video mixing footage of the Congresswoman, who is Muslim, giving a recent speech with footage of the 9/11 attacks.

In a statement, Omar says, quote, “Violent rhetoric and all forms of hate speech have no place in our society, much less from our country’s Commander in Chief.”

Now this morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is stepping up security for the Congresswoman and urging the President to take down this video, which she calls “dangerous and disrespectful.”

Democrats say that Omar’s recent comment that, quote, “some people did something” on 9/11 is being taken out of context. They say that she was really discussing discrimination against Muslim Americans.

But, George, the President and the White House says the President is wishing no ill will and certainly not violence against the Congresswoman. George?  

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: A lot of questions about that. Mary Bruce, thanks very much.

Here is the full transcript of the report on CBS This Morning:

7:15 AM ET

GAYLE KING: One of the first Muslim women to serve in Congress, Democrat Ilhan Omar, says she has faced an increase in death threats following a controversial tweet by President Trump. The President posted the tweet on Friday, declaring, “We will never forget the September 11th attacks,” and included a video about the Congresswoman.

REP. ILHAN OMAR [D-MN]: Some people did something.

TEXT ON SCREEN: Some people did something?

[FOOTAGE OF 9/11 ATTACKS]

KING: The video edits comments by the Minnesota Congresswoman interspersed with footage of 9/11. Omar responded in a tweet last night. She accused the President of encouraging hate speech, writing, quote, “We are all Americans. This is endangering lives. It has to stop.” Ed O’Keefe is on Capitol Hill with more on this story. Ed, good morning to you.

ED O’KEEFE: Good morning, Gayle. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is asking the U.S. Capitol Police to conduct a security assessment for Congressman Omar. The Speaker is one of many Democrats now accusing the President of trying to incite violence against the first-term lawmaker, who has previously has had death threats made against her.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Threats Against Rep. Omar; Congresswoman, Dems Accuse President of Inciting Violence With Tweet About 9/11 Comments]

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS [FOX NEWS]: The President’s not trying to incite violence against anybody, he’s actually speaking out against it.

O’KEEFE: White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders defended the President’s tweet on Sunday, saying the Congresswoman has a history of making offensive comments.

SANDERS: Democrats refused to call her out for it. If she continues to do it, the President will continue to called her out.

O’KEEFE: In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanded the President take down the video, saying, “Hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger.” And a number of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates criticized the President for taking his attack too far.

Congresswoman Omar was speaking to the Muslim civil rights organization, CAIR, in March, when she made these comments about the World Trade Center attacks.

REP. 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.

O’KEEFE: Texas Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw was one of the earliest critics, calling her comments, “Unbelievable.” Following outcry from Democrats, he followed up Friday, writing, “When someone calls out a public official for things they said, it is not endangering life or inciting violence. Claiming otherwise is just an attempt to silence your critics.”

Congresswoman Omar has repeatedly faced controversy over perceived anti-Semitic comments. In February, she apologized after suggesting American support for Israel is motivated by money from the Jewish lobby. The comments were condemned by members of both parties, including Speaker Pelosi and President Trump.

DONALD TRUMP: And a special thanks to representative Omar of Minnesota – Oh. [Booing] Oh. Oh, I forgot. She doesn’t like Israel. I forgot. I’m so sorry.

O’KEEFE: Over the weekend, Congresswoman Omar defended herself, writing, “No one person can threaten my unwavering love for America.”

Earlier this month, a self-proclaimed supporter of the President was arrested for threatening to kill the Congresswoman. We’ll see if the President has anything more to say about her when he makes an unrelated visit to her home state of Minnesota later today. John?

JOHN DICKERSON: Alright, Ed, thank you.

NB Daily 9/11 Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Mary Bruce Kristen Welker Ed O'Keefe

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