Ocasio-Cortez defends Omar amid 9/11 controversy: GOP is 'happy to weaponize her faith'

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., came to the defense of her fellow freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., on Thursday after conservatives attacked her for comments — mostly taken out of context — about 9/11.

“I’m not going to quote the NY Post’s horrifying, hateful cover,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “Here’s 1 fact: @IlhanMN is a cosponsor of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. She’s done more for 9/11 families than the GOP who won’t even support healthcare for 1st responders- yet are happy to weaponize her faith.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. (Photos: Seth Wenig/AP, Susan Walsh/AP)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar (Photos: Seth Wenig/AP, Susan Walsh/AP)

Ocasio-Cortez was responding to a jarring New York Post cover featuring the World Trade Center towers in flames on the day of the attacks.

The Omar controversy stems from comments she made last month at a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) fundraiser. Omar said the organization “was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something, and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.” (CAIR was actually founded in 1994. According to the Washington Post, Omar’s spokesman said she misspoke and “meant to refer to the fact that the organization had doubled in size after the Sept. 11 attacks.”)

The “some people did something” line has been highlighted by Fox News host Brian Kilmeade and Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel to criticize the Muslim American congresswoman as un-American. Kilmeade later walked his comment back.

Another freshman lawmaker, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, tweeted that Omar was the first member of Congress "to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as ‘some people who did something,’” adding, “Unbelievable.”

Ocasio-Cortez fired back on Thursday.

“You refuse to cosponsor the 9/11 Victim’s Compensation Fund, yet have the audacity to drum resentment towards Ilhan w/completely out-of-context quote,” she tweeted. “In 2018, right-wing extremists were behind almost ALL US domestic terrorist killings. Why don’t you go do something about that?”

Earlier this year, a bipartisan group of legislators introduced a bill to fully fund the Victim Compensation Fund. The fund had announced that due to budget shortfalls it might have to cut the awards it grants by up to 70 percent. Omar and Ocasio-Cortez are two of the 213 co-sponsors of the bill in the House.

Earlier this year, the Anti-Defamation League released a report that found 49 of the 50 deaths caused by domestic terrorism in the United States were tied to white supremacy and anti-government extremism.

Last week, a New York man and avowed Trump supporter was arrested by federal authorities for allegedly threatening to kill Omar.

According to a criminal complaint, Patrick Carlineo Jr., 55, called Omar’s office and told staffers that “she’s a f***ing terrorist” and “I’ll put a bullet in her f***ing skull.”


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