Despite video evidence to the contrary, President Donald Trump on Thursday claimed he attempted to stop his supporters’ racist “Send her back!” chant against Rep. Ilhan Omar during a rally in North Carolina.
“Well, number one, I think I did. I started speaking very quickly,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office when asked why he didn’t stop the crowd’s chant, which echoed the president’s attacks on Reps. Omar (D-Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.).
“I disagree with it, by the way,” Trump added. “I felt a little bit badly about it. But I will say this… I started speaking very quickly. But it started up rather, rather fast, as you probably know.”
When a reporter pointed out that the chant closely resembled Trump’s tweets—which said the freshman congresswomen should “go back” to the countries “from which they came”—the president said, “Well, I don’t think if you examine it, I don’t think you’ll find that.”
JUST IN: "I was not happy with it. I disagree with it," Pres. Trump says of “send her back” chant from crowd at his campaign rally last night.
He asserts he tried to stop the chant by "very quickly" speaking again as the chant broke out, despite a long pause during the chant. pic.twitter.com/NpN5QlB6Nn
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 18, 2019
Observers were quick to point out that the president’s version of Wednesday night’s rally does not align with reality.
Trump allowed the chants to go on uninterrupted for more than 10 seconds before proceeding with his remarks, in which he accused the Democratic congresswomen of hating the United States and said they should leave the country.
“Trump is claiming he was ‘not happy’ with the ‘Send her back’ chant and tried to stop it by resuming his speech. That is a lie,” tweeted HuffPost reporter S.V. Dáte. “He turns away from his lectern (not completely around) and actually allows the chant to run its course before resuming his speech.”
TRUMP tells WH pool he "was not happy with" the "send her back" chant at his NC rally last night & tried to stop it; "I started speaking very quickly.”
The video shows that’s not true. pic.twitter.com/jIEUQ1nyIN
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) July 18, 2019
In response to Trump’s rally and his supporters’ chants, Omar told reporters Thursday that she believes the president is a “fascist” who is attempting to stifle dissent.
“This is not about me,” Omar said. “This is about us fighting for what this country truly should be and what it deserves to be.”
Just asked Omar about the chants, and she says of Trump: "I believe he is a fascist." Responding to Lindsey Graham, who said if she were wearing a MAGA hat Trump wouldn't have said 'go back:' "Because I criticized the president, I should be deported?" pic.twitter.com/Pdgtozu6x6
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) July 18, 2019