We feature more highlights from the five-hour grilling of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week on Capitol Hill, where Michigan Congressmember Rashida Tlaib said she feared that far-right hate groups were using Facebook event pages to incite violence against Muslims and other minorities — including death threats directed at her office. Tlaib asked to be seen not only as a Congresswoman, but also as “a mother that is raising two Muslim boys in this pretty dark time in our world.” Meanwhile, California Congressmember Katie Porter pinned Zuckerberg down on Facebook’s privacy policies. “You are arguing in federal court that in a consumer data privacy lawsuit, in which your own lawyers admit that users’ information was stolen, that the plaintiffs fail to articulate any injury,” Porter said. “In other words, no harm, no foul. Facebook messed up, but it doesn’t matter. Is that your position?”
After attempting to distance himself, Trump calls crowd that chanted ‘send her back’ at a campaign rally ‘incredible’.
A day after Donald Trump tried to distance himself from racist chants heard at one of his campaign rallies, the US president praised the crowd as one full of “incredible patriots”.
The president on Friday again ramped up his attacks against US Representative Ilhan Omar, saying he was “unhappy with the fact that a congresswoman can hate our country”.
He also said the people at the North Carolina rally, many of whom chanted “Send her back” while Trump paused, are “incredible people” and “incredible patriots”.
On Thursday, however, Trump attempted to distance himself from the same crowd, saying he wasn’t “happy with” the chant and he disagreed with it. He falsely said he tried to stop the crowd.
His comments came just days after he attacked Omar and three other minority congresswomen – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley – in a series of racist tweets in which he told the four women to go back to where they came from. All four are United States citizens and all but Omar were born in the US. Omar came to the country as a Somali refugee when she was 12 years old.
On Thursday, Omar called Trump “fascist” and said she was “not deterred” and “not frightened”.
“We are going to continue to be a nightmare to this president because his policies are a nightmare to us. We are not deterred. We are not frightened,” she told a crowd of supporters who greeted her as she arrived in her home state of Minnesota.
After the tweets, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives condemned Trump’s “racist comments that have legitimised and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of colour”.
Trump maintains his comments were “not racist”. He said that those who are not happy in the US can leave, despite Trump himself having repeatedly spoken out against past US policies and administrations.
Many have come to Omar’s defence under #IStandWithIlhan.
‘Millions of American in danger’
Responding to Trump’s racist tweets earlier this week, Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Pressley said they “will not be silenced“. They also said that as “the squad” they would continue to put the focus back on the issues they feel need attention, including immigration, healthcare and education.
“This is simply a disruption, a distraction from the callous, chaotic and corrupt culture of this administration,” Pressley said on Tuesday. “We want to get to the business of the American people and why were sent here: reducing the costs of prescription drugs, addressing the public health crisis and epidemic that is gun violence, addressing the racial wealth gap and yes, making sure that families stay together.
Ocasio-Cortez warned on Thursday that Trump’s attacks “put millions of Americans in danger”.
“This is not just about threats to individual members of Congress, but it is about creating a volatile environment in this country through violent rhetoric that puts anyone, like Ilhan, anyone who believes in the rights of all people in danger and I think that he has a responsibility for that environment,” she said.
After Trump tweeted an edited video to suggest Omar was dismissive of the September 11, 2001, attacks earlier this year, the congresswoman reported an increase in death threats.
In April, a US man was arrested on suspicion of leaving racist, homophobic and Islamophobic messages filled with death threats on the voicemails of several Democratic members of Congress, including Tlaib.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS
Donald Trump managed to reach a new low on Sunday, when he sent a series of racist tweets aimed at Representatives Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, telling the four congresswomen to “go back [to the countries] from which they came.”1
Attacking these elected officials because of the color of their skin is disgusting. It is unacceptable. And it is a clear attempt by Trump to silence a group of women who are boldly and unapologetically fighting for the rest of us.
But as Rep. Pressley said yesterday, “We are more than four people … Our squad is big. Our squad includes any person committed to creating a more equitable and just world.”2
MoveOn is proud to join the squad, which is why we’ve printed a big batch of these “Squad Goals” stickers designed by @SoGayJen and are giving them away for free while supplies last.
These latest attacks were not only a look inside the grotesque racist echo chamber in Trump’s mind, but also a clear attempt to distract us from the ongoing humanitarian disaster on the border. It won’t work.
MoveOn members, our allies, Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley, Tlaib, and more will continue to work to close the concentration camps at the border, defund the out-of-control agencies committing these atrocities, and defeat Trump and his allies in 2020.
Thanks for all you do.
–Kelly, Justin, Schuyler, Ann, and the rest of the team
1. “Trump’s racist Twitter tirade about ‘the Squad,’ explained,” Vox, July 15, 2019
2. Tweet by Justice Democrats, July 15, 2019
Newly elected Democratic Congress-Woman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan made headlines last week for declaring, “We’re going to go in there, and we’re going to impeach the motherfucker,” in reference to President Donald Trump. Tlaib made the comment at a Washington, D.C., bar, days after she made history last week when she and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota became the first Muslim women sworn in to Congress. Tlaib is part of the most diverse and most female class of representatives in U.S. history.
US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi Speaker has shrugged off a new lawmaker’s use of a profane epithet to assail President Donald Trump.
Democrat Rashida Tlaib courted controversy when she used explicit language while calling for the president’s impeachment.
Ms Pelosi on Thursday said while she would not use such language, it was no worse than things Mr Trump has said.
The controversy comes amid renewed talk of impeachment among lawmakers.
The Republican president called her comments “highly disrespectful” to the US in a news conference on Friday.
“I thought her comments were disgraceful. This is a person I don’t know, I assume she’s new,” he told reporters.
“I think she dishonoured herself and dishonoured her family using language like that in front of her son and whoever else was there.”
When asked about her call for impeachment, Mr Trump responded: “You can’t impeach somebody that’s doing a great job that’s the way I view it.”
Earlier on Friday, he tweeted that his political enemies only want to remove him from office because he is “the most successful”.
What did Ms Tlaib say? Michigan’s Ms Tlaib made the remark to supporters at a reception hours after she was sworn in on Thursday as one of the first two Muslim women members of Congress.
“People love you and you win,” she said. “And when your son looks at you and says, ‘Momma, look you won. Bullies don’t win.’ And I said, ‘Baby, they don’t.'”
She added that they would impeach Mr Trump, using a profane term to describe him.
Ms Tlaib had also co-authored an opinion piece calling for impeachment that was published in the Detroit Free Press earlier on Thursday.
On Friday, she was unapologetic about the furor over her remark.
The new congresswoman took her oath of office using a family Koran while wearing a traditional garment stitched by her Palestinian-born mother.
What did Pelosi say?
Speaking at an MSNBC town hall on Friday, Ms Pelosi said while she may have a “generational reaction” to the language, she is “not in the censorship business”.
“I don’t like that language, I wouldn’t use that language, but I wouldn’t establish any language standards for my colleagues.
“But I don’t think it’s anything worse than what the president has said.”
On impeachment, Ms Pelosi has been cautious, saying Democrats must “wait and see” what happens with special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US election.
Mr Trump told reporters on Friday Ms Pelosi assured him in budget negotiations that House Democrats were not looking to impeach him.
What did other Democrats say?
A number of Democratic congressmen rebuked the new lawmaker.
Civil rights icon John Lewis said Ms Tlaib’s comments were “inappropriate” and “distracting”. The Georgia congressman also said talk of impeachment was “a little premature”.
Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri said: “What she said yesterday was wrong. Wrong is wrong.”
Jerry Nadler of New York told CNN: “I don’t really like that kind of language, but more to the point it is too early to talk about [impeachment] intelligently.”
But Ms Tlaib is not the only hardline Democrat to call for Mr Trump’s removal from office.
Brad Sherman of California and Al Green of Texas on Thursday reintroduced articles of impeachment against the president.
Mr Sherman responded to claims that impeachment talks were distracting from the shutdown battle by saying: “Does it compete for attention? Yes. So do the Lakers’ games,” the Associated Press reported.
As for Ms Tlaib’s controversial language, much like Ms Pelosi, California congresswoman Maxine Waters said Mr Trump was responsible for starting all the incivility.
“He’s opened up a new way of talking, a new way of addressing these issues in ways that we never heard before,” Ms Waters said, according to The Hill.
“That gives others the permission to speak passionately about it in the same manner that he has done.”