Trump claims joyful Minnesota airport welcome for Ilhan Omar was ‘STAGED’

Donald Trump said Friday that comments from ‘the squad’ about America were worse than ones made by Hillary Clinton and disputed a report Melania Trump gave him heat over his remarks about the lawmakers, saying it was ‘fake news.’

Trump said he doesn’t care if his attacks on the ‘squad’ – Representatives Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Alyanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib – are good or bad politically.

‘I don’t know if it’s good or bad politically, I don’t care. But when people are speaking so badly, they call our country garbage. Think of that – that’s worse than deplorable. When they call our country garbage. I don’t care about politics, I don’t care if it’s good or bad about politics. Many people say it’s good. I don’t know if it’s good or bad, I can tell you this, you can’t talk that way about our country. Not when I’m the president,’ he said.

Donald Trump said that comments from 'the squad' about America were worse than ones made by Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump said that comments from 'the squad' about America were worse than ones made by Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump said that comments from ‘the squad’ about America were worse than ones made by Hillary Clinton

Trump disputed a report that Melania Trump gave him grief over his remarks at a campaign rally that led to shouts of 'send her back' about Ilhan Omar

Trump disputed a report that Melania Trump gave him grief over his remarks at a campaign rally that led to shouts of 'send her back' about Ilhan Omar

Trump disputed a report that Melania Trump gave him grief over his remarks at a campaign rally that led to shouts of ‘send her back’ about Ilhan Omar

Clinton used the phrase ‘basket of deplorables’ during the 2016 campaign that Trump supporters adopted as a rallying cry and the president used repeatedly against her on the campaign trail. 

Trump also disputed a report from CBS News that the first lady, daughter Ivanka Trump and Vice President Mike Pence gave him grief over his remarks at Wednesday evening’s rally that resulted in his supporters shouting ‘send her back’ in regards to Omar.

‘Fake news,’ he told reporters on the South Lawn who asked him about the report. ‘What you’re saying, fake news, fake news.’

He noted later: ‘The first lady feels very strongly about our country. The first lady thinks it’s horrible what they’ve said about Israel and our country. These congress women. They can’t call our country and our people garbage, they can’t be anti-semitic.’

He then argued the members of the ‘squad’ don’t have a first amendment right to criticize the United States. 

‘I love our country. People can’t go around speaking about our country and saying garbage, this is the greatest country in the world,’ he said.

‘You can’t speak about our country the way those four congressmen – they said garbage. They say things about Israel that’s so bad, I’m not going to repeat them right now. They can’t get away with that act. Not the right thing. These women have said horrible things about our country. And the people of our country. Nobody should be able to do that, and if they want to do that, that’s up to them, but I can’t imagine they’re going to do very well at the polls.’

Earlier Friday, Trump defended his supporters at a North Carolina campaign rally who shouted ‘send her back’ in regards to Omar and said he’s ‘unhappy’ Ocasio-Cortez called them ‘garbage.’

‘Those people in North Carolina, that stadium was packed. It was a record crowd and I could have filled it ten times, as you know. Those are incredible people. Those are incredible patriots,’ he told reporters in the Oval Office at an event celebrating the Apollo 11 landing on the moon.

‘I’m unhappy with the fact that a congresswoman, in this case a different congresswoman, can call our country and our people garbage. That’s what I’m unhappy with,’ Trump said.

Donald Trump defended his supporters at a campaign rally who yelled 'send her back'

Donald Trump defended his supporters at a campaign rally who yelled 'send her back'

Donald Trump defended his supporters at a campaign rally who yelled ‘send her back’

Trump also said he was unhappy Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called them 'garbage'

Trump also said he was unhappy Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called them 'garbage'

Trump also said he was unhappy Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called them ‘garbage’

At his rally Wednesday night, the president claimed Ocasio-Cortez called Americans ‘garbage.’

‘She described contemporary America, that’s you, that’s me, that’s all of us, as garbage,’ he charged.

In a March interview with The Intercept, the New York Democrat talked about her policy goals – including healthcare for all and a $15 minimum wage – saying Americans shouldn’t settle for ‘garbage.’

‘We’ve strayed so far away from what has really made us powerful and just and good and equitable and productive,’ Ocasio-Cortez said. ‘And so I think all of these things sound radical compared to where we are, but where we are is not a good thing. And this idea of 10% better from garbage shouldn’t be what we settle for.’

‘She did not call any American ‘garbage,’ a Raleigh News & Observer fact check of Trump’s speech found.  

Trump also said he was angry that Omar said she would a ‘nightmare’ for him.

‘I’m unhappy when a congresswoman goes and says I’m going to be the president’s nightmare. He’s 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,’ he noted. 

On Thursday evening, Omar was greeted by a crowd of supporters holding signs that read ‘Stand with Ilhan’ and ‘Stop racism now’ at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport  as she arrived from Washington D.C. 

‘Welcome home Ilhan!’ the crowd chanted as Omar arrived in the airport terminal. 

‘It feels good to be home,’ Omar said into a bullhorn at the airport, telling the crowd that Trump’s policies are ‘fascist’ and vowing to be a ‘nightmare’ for him. 

‘His nightmare is seeing a Somali immigrant refugee rise to Congress,’ she said. ‘His nightmare is seeing the beautiful mosaic fabric of our country welcome someone like me as their member of Congress home to Minnesota.’ 

‘He’s threatened because we are inspiring people to dream about a country that recognizes their dignity and humanity,’ Omar said of Trump. 

Donald Trump claimed the welcome rally Rep. Ilhan Omar received when she return to her home state of Minnesota was 'staged'

Donald Trump claimed the welcome rally Rep. Ilhan Omar received when she return to her home state of Minnesota was 'staged'

Donald Trump claimed the welcome rally Rep. Ilhan Omar received when she return to her home state of Minnesota was ‘staged’

'Welcome home Ilhan!' the crowd chanted as Omar arrived in the airport terminal Thursday - the day after the Trump rally

'Welcome home Ilhan!' the crowd chanted as Omar arrived in the airport terminal Thursday - the day after the Trump rally

‘Welcome home Ilhan!’ the crowd chanted as Omar arrived in the airport terminal Thursday – the day after the Trump rally

‘We are going to continue to be a nightmare to this president, because his policies are a nightmare to us,’ she said.  

Also on Friday Trump claimed the welcome rally Omar received was ‘staged’ and predicted he’ll win Minnesota in the 2020 election.

In a Friday morning tweet storm, the president also railed about the news coverage of his Wednesday rally, where supporters yelling ‘send her back’ about Omar left some members of his own party rattled and had Democrats infuriated.

Trump also referred to ‘three radical congresswomen’ in his tweets. The ‘squad’ of liberal Democratic Congresswomen who were the targets of his previous tweets is made up of four lawmakers: Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley. 

‘It is amazing how the Fake News Media became ‘crazed’ over the chant ‘send her back’ by a packed Arena (a record) crowd in the Great State of North Carolina, but is totally calm & accepting of the most vile and disgusting statements made by the three Radical Left Congresswomen,’ he wrote.

He added: ‘Mainstream Media, which has lost all credibility, has either officially or unofficially become a part of the Radical Left Democrat Party. It is a sick partnership, so pathetic to watch!’

‘They even covered a tiny staged crowd as they greeted Foul Mouthed Omar in Minnesota, 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!,’ he noted. 

Hillary Clinton won the state of Minnesota in the 2016 presidential contest – but only by a mere percentage point. The state is expected to be competitive in next year’s presidential election. 

'It feels good to be home,' Omar said into a bullhorn at the airport, telling the crowd that Trump's policies are 'fascist' and vowing to be a 'nightmare' for him

'It feels good to be home,' Omar said into a bullhorn at the airport, telling the crowd that Trump's policies are 'fascist' and vowing to be a 'nightmare' for him

‘It feels good to be home,’ Omar said into a bullhorn at the airport, telling the crowd that Trump’s policies are ‘fascist’ and vowing to be a ‘nightmare’ for him 

On Thursday, President Trump disavowed the ‘Send her back!’ chant that stood out as a watershed moment in Wednesday night’s campaign rally.

‘I was not happy with it. I disagree with it,’ he said, referring to a moment when 8,000 screaming fans yelled for Omar to return to her native Somalia.

‘I felt a little bit badly about it,’ he conceded, but added: ‘I didn’t say that. They did.’  

Asked why he didn’t stop his supporters from chanting the unmistakable message, he replied: ‘I think I did. I started speaking very quickly.’

The chant came after the president said of Omar that she ‘has a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic screeds.’

‘Send them back!’ the crowd yelled, nine times. The president resumed speaking after the intensity had died down, 13 seconds later. 

White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley claimed in a Fox News Channel interview that the president ‘didn’t let it go on very long.’

‘He was very stoic and kept driving his message home,’ Gidley said. ‘He didn’t let the crowd slow him down all that long. except to hear what they were chanting.’

President Donald Trump disavowed a chant of 'Send her back!' against Rep. Ilhan Omar, telling reporters that he felt 'a little badly' for her when his fans erupted in shouts that she should leave the United States

President Donald Trump disavowed a chant of 'Send her back!' against Rep. Ilhan Omar, telling reporters that he felt 'a little badly' for her when his fans erupted in shouts that she should leave the United States

President Donald Trump disavowed a chant of ‘Send her back!’ against Rep. Ilhan Omar, telling reporters that he felt ‘a little badly’ for her when his fans erupted in shouts that she should leave the United States

Omar, a first-term congresswoman from Minnesota, was one of the first two Muslim women ever seated in the U.S. Congress; she hAs been pilloried for anti-Semitism and for blaming the United States for creating the conditions that resulted in the 9/11 terror attacks

Omar, a first-term congresswoman from Minnesota, was one of the first two Muslim women ever seated in the U.S. Congress; she hAs been pilloried for anti-Semitism and for blaming the United States for creating the conditions that resulted in the 9/11 terror attacks

Omar, a first-term congresswoman from Minnesota, was one of the first two Muslim women ever seated in the U.S. Congress; she hAs been pilloried for anti-Semitism and for blaming the United States for creating the conditions that resulted in the 9/11 terror attacks

Trump's rally held 8,000 and was filled to capacity; they chanted 'Send her back!' nine times before the president continued speaking

Trump's rally held 8,000 and was filled to capacity; they chanted 'Send her back!' nine times before the president continued speaking

Trump’s rally held 8,000 and was filled to capacity; they chanted ‘Send her back!’ nine times before the president continued speaking

In a second appearance at the White House, the president sat alongside the Dutch prime minister as he faced more questions about the controversy. 

‘There’s such hatred. They have such hatred,’ he said, rebounding from his more conciliatory posture to take another swipe at Omar and the other members of ‘the squad,’ a foursome of liberal first-term congresswomen.

‘I’ve seen statements that they’ve made with such hatred toward our country. And I don’t think that’s a good thing. They should embrace our country.’

He defended his supporters as ‘people that love our country. I want them to keep loving our country.’ 

Trump’s constant complaint this week was that the ‘radical congresswomen’ haven’t been scolded for comments of their own.

He’s complained about comments Omar made that perceived to be anti-Semitic and defensive of the 9/11 attacks. 

Omar came under fire in March for suggesting that some supporters of Israel were doing so because of financial reasons, tweeting ‘it’s all about the benjamins.’

And she also appeared to minimize the September 11 attacks when she noted a Muslim group was formed in its wake ‘because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.’   

Members of the 'squad': Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley at a press conference on Capitol Hill Monday

Members of the 'squad': Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley at a press conference on Capitol Hill Monday

Members of the ‘squad’: Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley at a press conference on Capitol Hill Monday

Trump also has referenced the fact Tlaib has said of him that she wants to ‘impeach the m-fer.’

Shortly after she took office, a video emerged of Tlaib at a MoveOn.org event in January, vowing of Trump: ‘We’re going to impeach the motherf***er!’ 

She reiterated that promise on Saturday when she addressed the liberal Netroots Nation conference.

‘We’re going to to impeach the m*fer, don’t worry. We’re going to impeach him,’ she said to applause.   

Ocasio-Cortez, meanwhile, charged the president with putting ‘millions of Americans in danger.’

‘I think the president put millions of Americans in danger last night. His rhetoric is endangering lots of people,’ Ocasio-Cortez told reporters in the Capitol on Thursday.

‘This is just not just about threats to individual Members of Congress, but it is about creating a volatile environment in this country through violent rhetoric that puts anyone like Ilhan, anyone who believes in the rights of all people, in danger. And I think that he has a responsibility for that environment.’  

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused Trump of putting 'millions of Americans' in danger with his words

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused Trump of putting 'millions of Americans' in danger with his words

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused Trump of putting ‘millions of Americans’ in danger with his words

She also said she was worried about her personal safety.

‘Of course. I think part of the point is to target us,’ Ocasio-Cortez said. ‘It’s natural to be concerned about our security.’

And Omar said she was afraid for fellow minorities – not herself.

‘I am not [scared for my safety]. What I’m scared for is the safety for people who share my identity,’ Omar told reporters on Capitol Hill.

‘This is not about me. This is about fighting for what this country should be and what it deserves to be.’

And a few Republicans expressed their discomfort with the crowd’s chant of ‘send her back.’

‘Though it was brief, I struggled with the ‘send her back’ chant tonight referencing Rep. Omar. Her history, words & actions reveal her great disdain for both America & Israel. That should be our focus and not phrasing that’s painful to our friends in the minority communities,’ tweeted Rep. Mark Walker, a Republican lawmaker and pastor from North Carolina.

GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger called for a toned down rhetoric.

‘I deeply disagree with the extreme left & have been disgusted by their tone. I woke up today equally disgusted – chants like ‘send her back’ are ugly, wrong, & would send chills down the spines of our Founding Fathers. This ugliness must end, or we risk our great union,’ he wrote on Twitter. 

Trump raged Wednesday night against all four ‘squad’ members, and railed against several Democratic presidential contenders. But it was Omar who bore the brunt of his harshest criticism during the Greenville, North Carolina rally. 

The president accused Omar of blaming terrorists attacks on the U.S. just hours after igniting a debate over rumors she was married to her brother.

‘She smeared U.S. Service members involved in Black Hawk Down,’ he said, referring to the failed 1993 raid in Mogadishu by the U.S. military.

‘In other words, she slandered the brave Americans were trying to keep peace in Somalia. Omar minimized the September 11th attacks on our homeland saying some people did something,’ he added.

Omar pushed back on Thursday, telling Trump she is here to stay.

‘I am where I belong, at the people’s house and you’re just gonna have to deal!’ Omar tweeted along with a photo of herself presiding over the House of Representatives.   

Outside the White House as he left for North Carolina on Wednesday, Trump had said of Omar that ‘I hear that she was married to her brother,’ repeating claims which have swirled around Omar since her 2016 campaign. 

A Somali blog first accused her of marrying her brother and of being a bigamist. It prompted her to issue statements which have not helped in disproving the claims. 

And, he charged, ‘Omar has a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic’ attacks. ‘She talked about the evil is real, and it’s all about the Benjamin’s,’ Trump charged.

‘Send her back! Send her back!’ the crowd roared, a reference to Trump’s tweet Sunday in which he suggested members of the ‘squad’ should go ‘back where they came from’ if they were unhappy with the U.S. 

The House voted on Tuesday to condemn his words as racist.

All four women are racial minorities and three of them were born in the United States. Omar was born in Mogadishu but she and her family left Somali for the U.S. in 1990.  She became a U.S. citizen at the age of 17 and was one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress.

Trump used past controversial comments the congresswoman against her during his speech, referring to her suggestion last March that some supporters of Israel were in it for the money, tweeting it was ‘all about the Benjamins.’

And she also appeared to minimize the September 11 attacks when she noted a Muslim group was formed in its wake ‘because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.’ 

Omar told CBS News in an interview airing Wednesday that she didn’t regret her past comments but emphasized she is not anti-semitic. 

And she responded to his comments at his rally by tweeting a verse from the poet Maya Angelou: ‘You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise. -Maya Angelou’

She also tweeted a photo of herself presiding over the House chamber with the words: ”I am where I belong, at the people’s house and you’re just gonna have to deal!’ 

The president used his campaign rally as a bully pulpit on Wednesday to hammer his political rivals on a litany of charges. 

And he made it clear he is relishing the political fight ahead as he battles for his re-election. He smiled broadly at the crowd’s reaction to the political red meat he threw at them, waving a fist in the air at times, and clapping them along. 

‘I’m enjoying it because I have to get the word out to the American people. And you have to enjoy what you do. I enjoy what I do. It’s not a question of relishing. They’re wrong, they’re absolutely wrong,’ he told reporters at the White House before he left for his campaign rally. ‘That’s not where our country wants to be.’ 

He used a similar strategy in his 2016 campaign – throwing red meat at the Republican base to rally them to turn out. 

Now his ‘lock her up’ chant against Hillary Clinton has become the ‘send her back’ chant directed at four women he’s pushing as the face of the Democratic Party.

The president never disavowed the ‘Lock her up!’ chant, riding it all the way to the White House. 

The rally was the first time Trump addressed supporters since he suggested the Democratic lawmakers go ‘back where they came from.’  

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