House Democrats want extra security for Ilhan Omar after the 'send her back' chants

Rep. Ilhan OmarRep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., conducts a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center responding to negative comments by President Trump that were directed at the freshmen House Democrats on Monday, July 15, 2019.Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

  • House Democrats are demanding additional security for Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, who was recently targeted by President Donald Trump in a series of incendiary attacks.
  • Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, requested an urgent review of security arrangements by Capitol Police in face of Trump's attacks.
  • Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush, a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus, also told Politico: "It's crystal clear to me that her life is in imminent danger."
  • Trump supporters specifically targeted Omar at a North Carolina on Wednesday, chanting "send her back."
  • The chant came after the president singled out four progressive Democratic congresswomen of color earlier this week.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

House Democrats are demanding extra security for Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar after President Donald Trump's supporters repeatedly chanted "send her back" on a Wednesday rally, where Trump smeared her as a terrorist sympathizer.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, wrote to the Capitol Police Board on Thursday: "Since last night's Trump campaign rally, the hashtag #SendHerBack is trending on Twitter with tweets referring to Rep. Omar as a terrorist sympathizer and calls for her deportation despite being a US citizen."

"The President's attacks on Members of Congress have emboldened people to pursue acts of violence towards public officials," he added

Thompson on Monday had already asked Capitol Police to convene an emergency meeting to review their security procedures in light of Trump's attacks on four progressive Democrats - Reps. Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts - earlier this week.

Trump on Thursday said he "was not happy" with the "send her back" shouts, but he did not appear to show it, as he stood and looked around for several seconds as the chants went on.

'Her life is in imminent danger'

Other Democratic lawmakers have said that the president's words have placed Omar and her family in danger.

Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush, a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus, told Politico on Thursday: "It's crystal clear to me that her life is in imminent danger."

"He has threatened the safety of a member of Congress," he added, referring to Trump. "That takes this to a whole different level."

President Donald Trump at a rally in North Carolina on Wednesday.President Donald Trump at a rally in North Carolina on Wednesday.Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Texas Rep. Al Green announced on the House floor Thursday that he plans to bring a bill that would provide more security for legislators.

Only congressional leaders receive enhanced security details under current rules.>

"This is an important time in this country. These are dangerous times. Every member of this House needs additional security," Green said, as quoted by The Hill.

"Leadership has adequate security. Members do not have adequate security. I want to thwart the efforts of those who might want to harm a member of this House," he added.

Omar told reporters Thursday that she wasn't worried for her own security, but was concerned for the security of others who might be in danger because of Trump's attacks.

"When you have a president who clearly thinks someone like me should go back, the message that he's sending is not for me, it's to every single person who shares an identity with me," she said.

She then accused Trump of being a "fascist."

Read more: Rep. Ilhan Omar greeted with new chant upon arrival in Minnesota: 'Welcome home Ilhan'

bennie thompsonHomeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson at a committee hearing on Capitol Hill in March 2019.Joshua Roberts/Reuters

In his Monday letter, Thompson listed a number of recent threats and violent plots against Omar.

They included the April arrest of a Trump supporter in New York for insulting and threatening to kill Omar because of her Muslim faith.

That month, she said that a video tweeted by Trump with edited comments of remarks she gave about 9/11 and the foundation of the Council on American-Islamic Relations had caused a new wave of death threats against her.

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