Donald Trump attacked one of the first Muslim women to serve in the US congress, hours after it emerged that a death threat had been made against her.
Mr Trump claimed Ilhan Omar did not like Israel at a Republican Jewish Coalition event in Las Vegas.
Pretending to thank the congresswoman for her support of Israel, he said: “Special thanks to Representative Omar of Minnesota. Oh, I forgot. She doesn’t like Israel. I forgot. I’m so sorry.”
His comments came hours after it emerged that a New York man, who said he “loved” the US president, was charged with threatening to kill the Minnesota Democrat.
Patrick Carlineo Jr was arrested after placing a call to Ms Omar’s office in which he called the politician a “terrorist” before threatening to shoot her, federal prosecutors said.
“Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she’s a f**king terrorist? I’ll put a bullet in her f**king skull,” the 55-year-old allegedly said.
He later told bureau investigators that he “loves the president and that he hates radical Muslims in our government,” according to the criminal complaint filed by US Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York.
Ms Omar was forced to apologise earlier this year for tweets implying US politicians only supported Israel because of lobby money.
She faced widespread criticism for suggesting the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) was buying influence for pro-Israel policies. Republicans and Democrats alike said the tweets stoked antisemitic tropes about Jews and money.
Responding to Mr Trump’s latest comments about her, the 37-year-old mother-of-three, who is the first Somali-American, the first African-born American, and one of the first two Muslim American women to serve in the US congress, tweeted: “My Lord, forgive my people for they do not know.”
Mr Trump’s attack against Ms Omar was part of a wide-ranging speech, which saw him tout his decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and his recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
He was nonetheless denounced by the Jewish Democratic Council of America executive director Halie Soifer.
“We strongly denounce President Trump’s continued assault on decency and truth, as was evident in his speech earlier today before the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas,” Ms Soifer said.
She said Mr Trump’s “policies and rhetoric are antithetical to Jewish values and … antisemitism has increased to unprecedented levels due to Trump’s divisive words, policies and willful blindness”.
She added: “What happened today in Las Vegas was a shameful display of lies and arrogance.”
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