Updated: July 19, 2019 06:43 PM
The feud between President Donald Trump and Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is escalating.
On Thursday, the president distanced himself from supporters who chanted “send her back” at a North Carolina campaign rally, saying he “felt a little badly” about the chant.
When asked about that response on Friday, President Trump changed his tone.
“That stadium was packed, it was a record crowd and I could’ve filled it 10 times, as you know,” he said in the Oval Office. “Those are incredible people, those are incredible patriots. I’m unhappy when a congresswoman goes and says I’m going to be the president’s nightmare.”
“She’s lucky to be where she is, let me tell you, and the things that she has said are a disgrace to our country,” said President Trump.
He was responding to part of Congresswoman Omar’s statement to supporters, who greeted her at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Thursday.
“His nightmare is seeing a Somali refugee rise to Congress,” she said. “We are going to continue to be a nightmare to this president because policies are a nightmare to us.”
President Trump started tweeting Friday morning, criticizing the media for covering quote "a tiny staged crowd as they greeted foul mouthed Omar in Minnesota.”
He went on to say, “A State which I will win in #2020 because they can't stand her and her hatred of our Country, and they appreciate all that I have done for them (opening up mining and MUCH more) which has led to the best employment & economic year in Minnesota's long and beautiful history!”
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Omar responded on Twitter, on one account saying, "Together we are fighting for a vision of America where its promise is alive for all who seek it."
On her Congressional account, she said, “The President's racism is about more than just words. It's about transforming America from a welcoming nation where everyone has a shot to a land for rich and powerful people who look like Donald Trump.”
For the community, it’s been an exhausting week.
“People are devastated, people are really very sad and angry at the same time,” said Imam Hassan Jama. “It's hate and it's discrimination and it's division.”
Imam Hassan Jama lives in Congresswoman Omar’s district, and he’s also the executive director of the Islamic Association of North America.
“It’s very hard for us to answer our youth, our children what's going on,” he said. “As a community, as a new immigrant, as a Muslim, as a people of color, as a Somali community, it's really hard to comprehend.”
He said he supports how Congresswoman Omar has responded to President Trump.
The controversy comes as 35 different Muslim organizations from around the country gather in Minneapolis for an annual conference. They are talking about issues facing the community, like affordable housing and healthcare.
Jama said this rhetoric will be discussed as well.
“We need to reject and oppose any discrimination, any hate, any division towards any community,” he said. “White and black, Christian, Muslim and Jewish people, newcomers and Minnesota-born, and anyone who is listening to this message, we need to work together to make the change we want to see.”
Updated: July 19, 2019 06:43 PM
Published: July 19, 2019 12:00 AM
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