Trump-supporting Republican hoping to oust Ilhan Omar charged with stealing from shops

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A Donald Trump-supporting Republican running against Ilhan Omar for Congress in 2020 is accused of shoplifting hundreds of items from stores in Minnesota, according to reports.

Danielle Stella, the 31-year-old candidate for the Midwest state, is believed to have been charged with felony theft after getting arrested at a branch of Target in the suburbs of Minneapolis.

The Republican is accused of stealing 279 items worth just over $2,300 (£1,850) from the popular retailer in January, and attempting to rob a bottle of tick spray for cats at a nearby grocery store in April.

“I am not guilty of these crimes. In this country I am innocent until proven guilty and that is the law,” she said in a series of text messages to The Guardian after it first reported details of the criminal complaint.

“If I was guilty of crimes, I would never run for public office, putting myself in the public eye under a microscope to be attacked by all political sides.”

Related Video: MPD Officer Plans to Run Against Rep. Omar

Earlier this week, Ms Stella was revealed to be an apparent supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory.

The online movement claims – without any basis in fact – that people working for the Trump administration are dropping clues about a “deep state” network of paedophiles.

A representative of her campaign told the Right Wing Watch website that Ms Stella “stands 100%” with QAnon.

A former Stella campaign aide later told The Daily Beast that the candidate “tries to portray herself as she supports it, but she doesn’t even understand it”.

Last month Ms Stella officially registered as a Republican candidate for Minnesota’s fifth district, currently represented by Ms Omar – one of the four congresswoman of colour attacked by Mr Trump in his racist “go back” tweets.

This week the right-wing candidate accused Ms Omar of “trying to start a civil war of race baiting this Country,” and repeated Mr Trump’s rhetoric by saying the so-called “squad” were “attempting to destroy our Country from within”.

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