Hours after Rep. Ilhan Omar and the rest of the so-called Squad hit back after being subjected to two days of President Trump’s racist attacks, the Minnesota Democrat appeared on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show to follow up on their fiery Monday press conference.
Following a series of racist tweets on Sunday in which the president called for Democratic congresswomen of color to “go back” to where they “came” from, the president doubled down on Monday. Singling out Omar, Trump falsely claimed that the Muslim congresswoman supported al Qaeda while further accusing her of “hating Jews.” He also brought up remarks she made earlier this year about the 9/11 terror attacks that sparked intense conservative outrage, prompting an increase in death threats against Omar.
After noting during Monday’s presser that “every single person who’s brown or black in this country has heard” Trump’s call to leave the country, Omar was asked by Rachel Maddow how she was able to absorb the president’s racist attacks.
“Look, many of us, as I said today, when we are brown and black in this country have been subjected to the old racist trope of ‘go back to where you came from,’” the Minnesota lawmaker replied. “Whether it happens at a school playground or inside the hallway or someone shouting at you in the street, many of us have had our responses.”
She added: “And now today and yesterday we had to figure out how to respond to it coming from the president of the United States. We were reminded, something that my 7-year-old says, ‘Does he know he is the president of the United States?’”
Maddow went on to note that Omar and her fellow “Squad” members—Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley—now have an “incredibly hot spotlight on them, adding that Trump is obviously targeting them on purpose in an effort to distract.
“Obviously you have a platform because you are looked to for a response to these attacks from the president that is of his making, but also you get to speak on your own terms once you get that,” Maddow wondered aloud. “How do you sort of avoid helping him do his work of distracting from the kinds of things you just described?”
Saying that she has an opportunity to both call the president out and talk about the direction she believes the country should be moving in, Omar proceeded to absolutely blast Trump.
“This is a president who believes it is OK for him to think that people who say something that will move this country forward should be deported,” she said. “He’s called on us to go back and fight corruption and fight these countries that have worse leaders and inept leaders.”
“We are living in one,” Omar continued. “He is that president. He is corrupt. He is the worst president we have had. He is inept and we are going to call him out for it. We are going to hold him accountable.”
She concluded the interview by reiterating her belief that Trump needs to be impeached and that it is now time to start that process.