President Donald Trump promoted a false smear of Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar on Wednesday.
Trump amplified a tweet from comedian and conservative commentator Terrence K. Williams. The text of the tweet – which Williams later deleted – claimed that “Ilhan Omar parties on the anniversary of 9/11.” A video showed footage of the Minnesota congresswoman dancing; Williams said in the video, “Girl, what in the world were you celebrating on the anniversary on 9/11?”
She wasn’t celebrating on the anniversary of 9/11.
Facts First: The footage of Omar dancing was from Friday, September 13. She was attending an event, called Breaking Concrete Ceilings, connected to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference.
In response to Trump’s tweet, Omar tweeted: “This is from a CBC event we hosted this weekend to celebrate black women in Congress. The President of the United States is continuing to spread lies that put my life at risk. What is Twitter doing to combat this misinformation?”
As of 1:30 pm, Trump’s tweet that had amplified Williams’ tweet remained active even after Williams deleted the underlying post.
Where the dancing video came from
The video Williams wrongly described was first posted on September 13 by Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Green wrote, “Can someone name something better than @IlhanMN dancing to @lizzo? Because I can’t think of anything. #CBC2019 #CBCWeek #cbcweekend.”
Omar herself tweeted out Green’s video minutes later on September 13.
Trump tried to use Williams’ tweet to tarnish not only Omar but the Democrats more broadly. He wrote in his own quote-tweet promoting Williams’ tweet: “IIhan Omar, a member of AOC Plus 3, will win us the Great State of Minnesota. The new face of the Democrat Party!”
Twitter was criticized by supporters of Omar for allowing the tweets from Williams and Trump to remain online. A Twitter spokesperson told CNN that Williams removed the video, not Twitter itself.
Trump’s history with Omar and Williams
This was also not the first time Trump had shared a baseless tweet from Williams. In August, he amplified Williams’ conspiracy theory that the death of accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was connected to the Clintons.
When Trump was asked about his decision to share Williams’ claim about Epstein, he described Williams as a “very respected conservative pundit.” He noted that Williams had “half a million followers.”
CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan contributed to this article.