White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders sided with President Donald Trump and other Republicans in the controversy following comments made by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Omar drew some questions after she a vague reference to the September 11 terrorist attacks, saying that “some people did something.” As IJR previously reported, her comments sparked a lot of backlash from Republicans, including President Donald Trump and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) and at least one of her Democratic colleagues, Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.).
Several people were frustrated with Omar’s comments, but some feared that calling out her flippant language could lead to violence against her or other Muslim Americans — a point Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) raised after President Trump tweeted a video of Omar’s comments.
The memory of 9/11 is sacred ground, and any discussion of it must be done with reverence. The President shouldn’t use the painful images of 9/11 for a political attack.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) April 13, 2019
During a Sunday interview on “ABC This Week,” host George Stephanopoulos asked Sanders if she agrees with Pelosi that condemning Omar’s words could lead to violence against her or others. Sanders assured Wallace that the president would never want to see violence against Omar, but said that her comments need to be addressed.
JUST IN: Sarah Sanders on Beto O'Rourke's comment that Trump's attack on Rep. Ilhan Omar "is an incitement to violence": "The president is wishing no ill will and certainly, not violence towards anyone," but he "should be calling out the congresswoman" https://t.co/OYryJReRBT pic.twitter.com/sKuqKjNtOl
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) April 14, 2019
“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.”
Sanders said the “bigger question” should not be about Trump’s comments on Omar, but the lack of condemnation of her past comments by Democrats — which included a watered down condemnation anti-Semitism in Congress.
“It’s absolutely abhorrent the comments that she continues to make and has made and they look the other way. I find her comments to be absolutely disgraceful and unbefitting of a member of Congress and I think it’s a good thing that the president is calling her out for those comments and the big question is why aren’t Democrats doing it, as well.”
As Sanders referenced, this is not Omar’s first time causing a national controversy for her comments, including the used of anti-Semitic tropes.