Trump repeated an unfounded claim that freshman lawmaker Ilhan Omar married her brother to sneak him into the US

  • Donald Trump repeated an unverified rumor than Rep. Ilhan Omar married her brother to get him entry into the US on Wednesday.

  • "There's a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother. I know nothing about it," Trump said in response to a question from right-wing outlet OANN.

  • The claim that Omar's second husband, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, is her brother was first made by US conservative blog Power Line in 2016, who cited claims made on a Somali political forum.

  • Omar labelled the claim "disgusting lies" in October 2018.

  • Omar, and three other non-white Congresswoman, were told to "go back" to their "crime infested" countries by Trump on Sunday after they criticized his administration, triggering a nationwide backlash to the racist comments.

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday echoed an unverified claim that Rep. Ilhan Omar married her brother to secure his entry to the US.

Trump, asked about the rumor by a reporter from the right-wing network OANN, said: "There's a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother."

"I know nothing about it. I hear she was married to her brother."

"You're asking me a question about it. I don't know, but I'm sure that somebody will be looking at that," Trump said, before heading to a rally in Greenville, North Carolina.

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Omar called the claims "absurd and offensive" in 2016, and "disgusting lies" in October 2018

The claim that Ahmed Nur Said Elmi was actually Omar's brother first gained traction in the US in 2016 after a post by conservative blog "Power Line," which pounced on allegations made on SomaliSpot, a politics forum in the country of Omar's birth, Somalia.

Omar was running for Minnesota's state legislature at the time, and was elected successfully.

ilhan omar
ilhan omar

Getty

In 2017 Omar was granted a divorce from Elmi, but when Omar ran for Congress in 2018, the claim was resurfaced, and a website set up by Republican Party members in Minnesota's 5th District stated:

"Divorcing a husband isn't usually a major topic of interest for the general public. However, when the husband of this state lawmaker was alleged to have been Omar's brother, the voters should seek the truth."

Read more: Trump supporters chant 'send her back' as the president attacks Ilhan Omar at rally in North Carolina

From left, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.
From left, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images

Omar, one of the first two Muslim women to ever serve in Congress, was born in Somalia. She became a US citizen when she was 17.

Read more: Weeks of Democratic infighting between Nancy Pelosi and 'the Squad' preceded Trump's racist tweet attacks

Omar is currently in Trump's crosshairs after she, and three other non-white Congresswomen, were told by the president to "go back" to their "corrupt" and "crime infested" countries after they criticized his administration.

Trump on Tuesday rejected the notion the tweet was racist, saying he doesn't have a "racist bone" in his body.

Read more: Republican silence on Trump's racist tweets shows how fearful they've become of defying him and losing voters

Trump says the four lawmakers — Rep. Omar, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Ayanna Presley, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib — "hate" America, and should leave the country.

ilhan omar donald trump alexandria ocasio-cortez
ilhan omar donald trump alexandria ocasio-cortez

Getty/Lars Niki, AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, Associated Press

After repeating the claim Omar was related to her brother, Trump told another reporter he's "winning the political argument" against the four lawmakers, known as "The Squad."

Of the claims, independent fact-checking website Snopes wrote: "We found no public records or credible sources contradicting Omar's account of her past, nor any substantive evidence corroborating claims that Elmi is her brother or that their marriage was otherwise fraudulent. In addition, some of the claims offered in support of the rumor don't seem to add up."

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