President Donald Trump was asked on Wednesday night about whether Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) should be investigated for possibly marrying her brother, bringing a scandalous rumor from the congresswoman’s home state onto the national stage.
In response to the question — from a reporter at OANN, a right wing network best known for pushing conspiracies — Trump said: “There’s a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother. I know nothing about it. I hear she was married to her brother. You’re asking me a question about it. I don’t know, but I’m sure that somebody will be looking at that.”
Did Omar actually marry her brother?
Rumors that she did so have circulated since 2016 — when Omar became the first Somali-American elected to the Minnesota state House of Representatives — and can be traced by to an allegation on a Somali blog that was seized upon by conservative media.
There was also an allegation she was married to two men at the same time, which was dispelled by marriage records.
Her marriage history is complicated. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Omar was first married to Ahmed Hirsi, though not legally, in 2002. They divorced in their faith tradition in 2008.
Omar then married Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, legally, in 2009. While they separated and divorced in their faith tradition in 2011, they did not legally divorce until 2017.
In 2012, Omar got back together with Hirsi, with whom she filed joint taxes with in 2014-15, despite still being married to Elmi.
In 2017, Omar legally divorced Elmi. In 2018, she legally married Hirsi and was elected to Congress.
Per the Star Tribune, new documents on potential campaign finance violations, released by a state agency, regarding Omar filing joint tax returns with Hirsi, have renewed attention on her marriages.
One of the questions seized on by conservative media: whether Elmi is actually Omar’s brother, and whether they married to skirt immigration laws.
Is there any evidence to support that? Omar denies it wholly. She has called the allegations “disgusting lies” and “baseless rumors.”
Without more evidence, the allegation remains unproven. Omar has declined to get into the details of her two marriages, but for now, the claim that she married her brother is just a rumor — as Snopes laid out in thorough detail here.
[Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]
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