Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) grew emotional Thursday as she defended fellow Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) against "racist" critics" after glib remarks Omar made about the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Omar has drawn heat for saying last month "some people did something" on 9/11, when more than 3,000 people were killed in the worst-ever terror attack on U.S. soil. Sounding almost on the verge of tears on MSNBC, Tlaib said Omar's words were being taken out of context by bad-faith actors.
"They do this all the time to us, especially women of color," Tlaib said. "They take our words out of context because they're afraid, because we speak truth. We speak truth to power. my sister she was talking about uplifting people by supporting their civil liberties and civil rights. She has always, always condemned any kind of strategy, especially of a person directly impacted by being a refugee herself. She sees what terrorism can do, she sees what violence can do to a whole country, to a whole people.
"Taking it out of context, this is just pure racist act [sic] by many of those, hateful acts by those because she does speak truth when it talks about different issues that they disagree with. I'm really outraged because as a person that has gotten direct death threats myself, I know her life is put in more danger and i see her not just my sister and colleague, but I see her as a mother of three. The fact that people are irresponsibly taking those words out of context … is wrong and needs to be called out by many colleagues."
The Washington Free Beacon contacted both Tlaib and Omar's offices last month and made multiple requests for comment about whether they condemn the Palestinian terror group Hamas and its brutal treatment of Gaza's residents. The two, who are the first Muslim women elected to Congress, did not respond. Omar has tweeted a condemnation of its recent crackdown on protesters, however.
This is abhorrent. I hope all will join in me in condemning these crackdowns on human rights workers and journaliss.https://t.co/eT8PXBRbbp
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) March 26, 2019
Tlaib also said the New York Post‘s cover on Thursday—showing a plane hitting the World Trade Center with the words "Here's Your Something" in response to Omara—was wrong, and she called Omar "so loving" to the U.S and her transition from refugee to citizen "pure inspiration."
"I just uplift her right now in saying she needs to continue having the courage, but also we need to join and unite our country against those kinds of hateful—the New York Post cover and any of the attacks that i've seen over and over again of sister Ilhan Omar," Tlaib said.
Responding to Omar's claim on The Late Show that she is a lightning rod for criticism because of her various identities as a Muslim, woman, and an immigrant, Tlaib repeated "women of color" are policed unfairly.
Tlaib has stood by Omar over controversies over the latter's anti-Semitic remarks, one of which led to a rebuke from House Democratic leadership. Both congresswomen support the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which has been condemned by the anti-Defamation League and called anti-Semitism in action by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.).
UPDATED, 7:15 P.M.: This article incorrectly stated that Omar had not tweeted about Hamas. She tweeted a condemnation of the group by linking to an article about the group's conduct toward protesters by the New York Times on March 26.