Here’s Video Proof That Trump Lied About Ilhan Omar and ‘Alcaida’ (al-Qaeda)
President Donald Trump told many lies during a press scrum where he stood by his racist tweetstorm. But there’s video evidence debunking perhaps the most dangerous of those lies — the claim that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) praised al-Qaeda.
At a Rose Garden event that turned into an impromptu press conference, Trump’s many lies included several accusations that Rep. Omar had praised the terrorist organization that was responsible for bringing down the World Trade Center (which prompted Trump, ironically, to falsely claim that he now had the “tallest building in downtown Manhattan” just hours after the attacks, to which he has also referred as “7-11”).
In response to a question from Fox News’ John Roberts, Trump said, of Omar, “I hear the way she talks about al Qaeda. Al Qaeda has killed many Americans. She said, ‘You can hold your chest out, you can — when I think of America … huh … when I think of al Qaeda, I can hold my chest out’.”
He went on to claim to have heard Rep. Omar “speaking about how wonderful al Qaeda is,” and renewed another dangerous and misleading attack on Omar by adding, “When I hear people talking about ‘some people’ — ‘some people’ with the World Trade Center — ‘some people’? No, not ‘some people.’ Much more than ‘some people.'”
In April, Trump tweeted a video featuring out-of-context remark from Omar interspersed with footage of the attack on the Twin Towers, which many called out as an incitement to violence against Omar.
In a further irony, as Trump was falsely attacking Omar over what to call the terrorist group, he was reading from a list of talking points that featured a handwritten note referring to the organization as “Alcaida.”
The “some people” attack was widely covered at the time, but Trump’s claim that Rep. Omar praised al-Qaeda was a new and even more inflammatory lie that is easily debunked by video evidence.
During a 2013 interview with TV host Ahmed Tharwat on the subject of the Westgate Mall attack in Kenya, Omar discussed terrorism at length — repeatedly denouncing it as “evil” — and made the remarks to which Trump now erroneously refers.
The host observed that media figures use the Arabic names for groups like al-Qaeda, rather than the more anodyne translations, in an effort to demonize the language.
“It’s very interesting that we keep the Arabic name to such violent or negative entity,” Tharwat said. “Al-Qaeda, Al shabaab, Hezbollah. “Have you ever thought about…”
“These things really don’t mean, they don’t mean anything evil,” Omar interjected.
“Can’t you just translate?” Tharwat said, and rattled off the translations of several terrorist groups’ names.
“They are polluting our language, our daily casual language,” he added.
“But that is, I think, a product of this sensationalized media,” Omar said. “You know, you have these sound bites and you have these words, and everybody says it with such intensity. And so it must mean, it must hold a bigger meaning.”
“It sounds strange and weird,” Tharwat agreed.
“I remember when I was in college, I took a terrorism class,” Omar said, prompting Tarwat to joke, “Is there a such thing?” and to ask, “Do you go to lab, go on a field trip?”
“The thing that was interesting in the class was every time the professor said ‘al-Qaeda,’ he sort of like, his shoulders went up and he was sort of like…” Omar began.
Tharwat asked for the name of the professor, and Omar said, “I’m not going to say his name, but you probably get to see him on CNN.”
“But it is that, you don’t say ‘America’ with an intensity, you don’t say ‘England’ with an intensity, you don’t say ‘The army’ with an intensity,” Omar continued, adding, “But you say these names because you want that word to carry weight. You want it to leave something with the person that’s hearing.”
“It said with a deeper voice,” Omar said. “So yes, a lot of it is deluded, when you hear a lot of people speaking in Arabic, you know, suspicion arises.”
Watch the clip above, via Ahmed Tharwat.
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