Omar defends Somalia: 'That shithole country raised a very proud, dignified person'
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Tuesday criticized President Trump's January 2018 remarks calling Haiti, El Salvador and some African nations "shithole countries."
Speaking alongside activist Angela Davis and other black progressives such as Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) at a rally outside the Capitol, Omar defended her birth country of Somalia.
"And I also, also happen to be a refugee and an immigrant from what they call one of the shithole countries," Omar told the crowd, according to a Facebook video. "The reality is, that shithole country raised a very proud, dignified person."
"Our circumstances might not always be perfect," Omar continued. "But that doesn't lessen our humanity, and I am not in the business of defending mine."
Tuesday's rally was billed the #WeStandWithIlhan rally in support of Omar, who was the subject of recent criticism from conservatives and Trump himself over her comments about 9/11 and others about Israel.
Omar, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, was also the subject of a video tweeted by the president which interspersed her remarks about civil rights for Muslims in America after 9/11 with footage of the Twin Towers falling in the attacks.
The freshman lawmaker was also the target of a display set up by Republicans in the West Virginia Statehouse that surrounded her photo with images of the 9/11 attacks and the text "Never forget" and "I am the proof — you have forgotten."
Democratic presidential candidates including Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have accused Republicans of stoking Islamophobia with their criticism of the freshman Democrat.
“The criticisms of Congresswoman Omar, what Donald Trump has been saying about her, is reprehensible, it is trafficking in Islamophobia, and it should be condemned by everyone," Booker said last month.