Rep. Ilhan Omar gets hero’s welcome as supporters greet her after Trump attacks

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), flying home after a whirlwind week dueling with the president over a series of racist attacks, was met by a coalition of cheering supporters in Minnesota on Thursday evening.

The crowd of about 150 people gathered at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to welcome the congresswoman before she held a town hall event later that evening.

“Welcome home, Ilhan!” the group, some bearing signs and moving to shake her hand, chanted. “We have your back,” another supporter shouted.

Omar addressed the group shortly after her arrival, saying she planned to continue to work on behalf of her district “because you all send me to Washington to do the important work of progressing our country.”

“The reality is everybody talks about how [Trump] is threatened because we criticize him,” Omar said, according to an account from Minnesota Public Radio. “But the reality is he is threatened because we are inspiring people to dream about a country that recognizes our dignity and our humanity.”

She later responded with a short message on Twitter after the airport welcome, saying simply: “It’s good to be home.”

Omar is one of four freshman Democratic congresswomen who faced the ire of President Donald Trump this week after he posted a message to Twitter telling them to “go back” to where they came from. “The squad,” as they call themselves, Omar along with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), are all U.S. citizens, with all but Omar born in America.

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U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar speaks to supporters after arriving home, at Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport, Thursday, July 18, 2019, in Minnesota. President Donald Trump is chiding campaign supporters who'd chanted "send her back" about Somali-born Omar, whose loyalty he's challenged. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP)
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks as, from left, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., listen during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, July 15, 2019. President Donald Trump on Monday intensified his incendiary comments about the four Democratic congresswomen of color, urging them to get out if they don't like things going on in America. They fired back at what they called his "xenophobic bigoted remarks" and said it was time for impeachment. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., left, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., center, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., right, attend a House Oversight Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, July 15, 2019, on White House counselor Kellyanne Conway's violation of the Hatch Act. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
From left, U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., respond to base remarks by President Donald Trump after he called for four Democratic congresswomen of color to go back to their "broken" countries, as he exploited the nation's glaring racial divisions once again for political gain, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, July 15, 2019. All four congresswomen are American citizens and three of the four were born in the U.S. Omar is the first Somali-American in Congress. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., left, joined at right by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., responds to base remarks by President Donald Trump after he called for four Democratic congresswomen of color to go back to their "broken" countries, as he exploited the nation's glaring racial divisions once again for political gain, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, July 15, 2019. All four congresswomen are American citizens and three of the four were born in the U.S. Omar is the first Somali-American in Congress. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., flanked by U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., left, and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., responds to remarks by President Donald Trump after he called for four Democratic congresswomen of color to go back to their "broken" countries, as he exploited the nation's glaring racial divisions once again for political gain, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, July 15, 2019. All four congresswomen are American citizens and three of the four were born in the U.S. Omar is the first Somali-American in Congress. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, left, and D-N.Y., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., center, walk down the House steps to take a group photograph of the House Democratic women members of the 116th Congress on the East Front Capitol Plaza on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, as the 116th Congress begins. Also pictured is Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., right. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2019, file photo, committee members, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., right, and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., left, listen to testimony by Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Activists hoping to defeat House Democrats in next year’s primary elections with more diverse and progressive candidates say the high-profile success they had last year with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory creates a new concern. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., holds a Medicare for All town hall with Rep. Pramila Jayapal (not pictured) and other state lawmakers, Thursday, July 18, 2019, in Minneapolis. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 07: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., left, and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., attend a rally on the East Front of the Capitol to call on Congress to defund Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Thursday, February 7, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., left, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., right, listen as President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., listens as Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russell Vought testifies before the House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 12, 2019, during a hearing on the fiscal year 2020 budget. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., answers the roll call as the House Oversight and Reform Committee votes 24-15 to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for failing to turn over subpoenaed documents related to the Trump administration's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2018 file photo, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley speaks at a rally at City Hall in Boston. On Nov. 6, Pressley became Massachusetts' first black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File)
FILE - On this Jan. 17, 2019, file photo, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Democrats on Monday, May 13, defended Tlaib after President Donald Trump and his allies mischaracterized her remarks about the Holocaust to accuse her of anti-Semitism. Tlaib told a Yahoo News podcast that she gets "a calming feeling" when she thinks of how her Palestinian ancestors suffered under the creation of the state of Israel. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., prepares to do a television interview on Capitol Hill, Thursday, June 27, 2019 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., talks to other guests before the start of a funeral service for former Rep. John Dingell, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington. Dingell, who represented southeast Michigan for 59 years in the House of Representatives, died last week at age 92. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., left, looks over her notes during testimony by Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019. Sitting next to Ocasio-Cortez is Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., right. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., speaks at the 2019 Essence Festival at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on Saturday, July 6, 2019, in New Orleans. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)
FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2018, file photo, then-Rep.-elect Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., adjusts her coat after posing with other members of the freshman class of Congress for a group photo opportunity on Capitol Hill in Washington. It's known as "the theater committee" for its high profile, high-drama role investigating President Donald Trump's White House. And now, five of the fieriest Democratic freshmen in the House are players on that stage. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, file)
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., center, joined at left by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., announces legislation to cancel all student debt, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, June 24, 2019. Sanders called the student debt burden in this country the absurdity of sentencing an entire generation, the millennial generation, to a lifetime of debt for the crime of doing the right thing. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks at a news conference with Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to call for legislation to cancel all student debt, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, June 24, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
From left, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., respond to the roll call as the House Oversight and Reform Committee votes 24-15 to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for failing to turn over subpoenaed documents related to the Trump administration's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., listens during questioning at a House Oversight and Reform committee hearing on facial recognition technology in government, Tuesday June 4, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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Trump’s comments quickly drew a sharp rebuke from the four women of color, who called them “blatantly racist” and said Trump was feeding into white nationalist talking points. But the president stuck to his own rhetoric, saying Omar and the others hated America and that “if they don’t like it, let them leave.”

The conflict intensified during a Trump campaign rally in North Carolina on Wednesday. During the event, the crowd of thousands burst into chants of “Send her back!” as the president looked on in silence. He has since tried to distance himself from the chants after Republican leaders expressed concern about them (although the GOP has largely remained silent, with some Republicans saying that Trump has no “racist bones” in his body).

Omar has vowed to “rise” in the face of Trump’s incendiary remarks and said Thursday evening that the president was lashing out because of her background.

“His nightmare is seeing the beautiful mosaic fabric of our country welcome someone like me as their member of Congress,” Omar said, according to MPR. “We are going to continue being a nightmare to this president because his policies are a nightmare to us.”

Omar was back in town to hold a town hall event with Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) on health care on Thursday evening. Jayapal wrote that the greeting was an “incredible heart-warming beautiful welcome” for the congresswomen.

“This is the America I love — full of welcome & generosity,” Jayapal said on Twitter.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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