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Nancy Pelosi is presiding over a vastly different Democratic caucus than the last time she was Speaker of the House. Will she keep it together?
USA TODAY

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that she was ordering U.S. Capitol Police to conduct a “security assessment” to ensure Rep. Ilhan Omar’s safety after President Donald Trump posted an incendiary tweet about a remark Omar made regarding the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 

“Following the President’s tweet, I spoke with the Sergeant-at-Arms to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff,” Pelosi said in a statement. “They will continue to monitor and address the threats she faces.” 

Last week, conservatives sharply criticized Omar, one of the first Muslim women ever elected to Congress, for remarks the Minnesota Democrat made at a March 23 Council on American-Islamic Relations event in Los Angeles where she said “some people did something” in reference to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. 

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Omar’s critics accused her of trivializing and minimizing the tragedy. Her defenders said those critics were ignoring the context of the speech in which she said Muslim Americans are treated as second-class citizens and have been punished collectively for the terrorist attacks committed by a small minority who share their faith. 

On Friday, Trump posted a tweet reading, “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!” above a video of Omar’s remarks repeated along with ominous music, played over images of the World Trade Center engulfed in flames. 

“The President’s words weigh a ton, and his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger,” Pelosi said Sunday. “President Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video.”

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The tweet had previously been pinned as the first one on the president’s Twitter account. Although no longer the pinned tweet, it was still in his feed and the video had 9.8 million views as of 7 p.m. EDT on Sunday. 

On Saturday, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a 2020 presidential candidate, called Trump’s tweet an “incitement to violence.” 

“The president is not trying to incite violence against anybody. He’s actually speaking out against it,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on “Fox News Sunday” in response to the criticism of the president’s tweet. 

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“That was one of the most horrific moments in American history and for her to talk about it in such a dismissive way is frankly disgusting and abhorrent, and I’m glad the president is calling her out and holding her accountable for it.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said Sunday during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Trump “has no moral authority to be talking about 9/11 at all.” 

Nadler said that after Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush administration gave Trump a $150,000 grant that was intended to help small businesses impacted by the attack. 

“He stole $150,000 from some small businessperson who could have used it to help rehabilitate himself,” Nadler said.

Omar, who previously sparked controversy with comments that were widely condemned as playing into anti-Semitic tropes, has said she has received many threats since taking office in January. 

“This is a dangerous incitement, given the death threats I face,” Omar tweeted in response to her conservative critics after March 23 comments resurfaced last week on social media. 

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“I hope leaders of both parties will join me in condemning it. My love and commitment to our country and that of my colleagues should never be in question. We are ALL Americans!” 

Omar also tried to defend herself with a tweet equating her description of the attack to one made by President George W. Bush days after that attack in which he vowed, “the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!”

Earlier this month, a New York man was arrested on suspicion of threatening Omar, after he was alleged to have said he would “put a bullet” in her “skull.” 

In March, a poster was displayed in the West Virginia statehouse that implied Omar’s election was “proof” people had forgotten 9/11. The display sparked a confrontation between Republican and Democratic lawmakers that led to one injury and one resignation. 

“No wonder why I am on the ‘Hitlist’ of a domestic terrorist and ‘Assassinate Ilhan Omar’ is written on my local gas stations,” Omar tweeted in response to news of the incident. 

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