Even as President Donald Trump continues his feud with Rep. Ilhan Omar, liberals are criticizing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of not defending the freshman Muslim congresswoman quickly or strongly enough.
In an interview with local television station KSTP during a trip to Minnesota on Monday, Trump was asked if he had any regrets about his Friday tweet accusing Omar of downplaying the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
“No, not at all,” Trump said. “Look, she’s been very disrespectful to this country. She’s been very disrespectful, frankly, to Israel. She is somebody that doesn’t really understand, I think life, real life, what it’s all about. It’s unfortunate. She’s got a way about her that’s very, very bad I think for our country. I think she’s extremely unpatriotic and extremely disrespectful to our country.”
On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, on a congressional trip to London, was asked during an interview with CNN if she agrees with her critics that she did not defend Omar swiftly enough.
“Well, I haven’t had a chance to speak with her, I’m traveling,” Pelosi told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
She added: “I don’t even know what was said, but do I know what the president did was not right.”
ABC News has reached out to Pelosi’s office for comment.
On Friday, the president tweeted a video that used footage of 9/11 with comments Omar made at the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The 43-second video captures Omar saying “some people did something,” in reference to terrorists who killed thousands when they crashed planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. The video, which features dramatic music and video of the chaos in downtown Manhattan, asks “Some people did something?”
But it does not show the entirety of Omar’s comments.
“For far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen and, frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it,” Omar said at CAIR in California last March. “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”
Omar went on to say that the 9/11 attacks changed how Muslims are viewed in America, and encouraged Muslims to not tolerate being treated as “second-class” citizens.
Republicans have criticized the seemingly passive reference to the terrorists who carried out the attacks, while Omar’s defenders have countered that the remarks were largely taken out of context and have been seized on in order to stoke anti-Islamic sentiment against the Muslim congresswoman.
Pelosi condemned Trump for the video, but she did not initially mention Omar, who was the target of Trump’s video, by name.
Fellow Democratic freshman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York called on Democrats to respond to Trump’s tweet and cautioned that if they were to remain silent, they would be “complicit” in Trump’s attacks.
“Members of Congress have a duty to respond to the President’s explicit attack today.@IlhanMN’s life is in danger. For our colleagues to be silent is to be complicit in the outright, dangerous targeting of a member of Congress,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.
“Has Nancy Pelosi ever visited a mosque in this country?” said Waleed Shahid, spokesman for the liberal group Justice Democrats in a tweet.
Has Nancy Pelosi ever visited a mosque in this country?
— Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) April 14, 2019
Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill e-mailed a response to ABC News forcefully denying Shahid’s suggestion.
“…the Speaker has been to many mosques in this country and throughout the world,” Hammill said in a statement.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., who is also Muslim, expressed frustration over how Democratic leadership was handling Trump’s attacks against Omar.
“They put us in photos when they want to show our party is diverse,” Tlaib tweeted over the weekend, slamming top Democrats for failing to defend Omar from Trump’s Islamophobic attacks while also insinuating their diversity is a prop for the Democratic Party.
“However, when we ask to be at the table, or speak up about issues that impact who we are, what we fight for & why we ran in the first place, we are ignored,” she continued, re-tweeting a California state legislative aide who criticized “the attacks on @IlhanMN and subsequent lack of support from Democratic leadership.”
They put us in photos when they want to show our party is diverse. However, when we ask to be at the table, or speak up about issues that impact who we are, what we fight for & why we ran in the first place, we are ignored. To truly honor our diversity is to never silence us. https://t.co/7T1OlwS1YG
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) April 13, 2019
Just hours after Omar released a statement reporting a surge of threats against her life following a tweeted attack from Trump, Trump again took aim at Omar on Monday by describing her as Pelosi’s “leader.”
“Before Nancy, who has lost all control of Congress and is getting nothing done, decides to defend her leader, Rep. Omar, she should look at the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and ungrateful U.S. HATE statements Omar has made,” Trump tweeted. “She is out of control, except for her control of Nancy!”
Pelosi confirmed Sunday that she personally spoke with the House Sergeant-at-Arms in order to ensure the safety of Omar, as well as her family and staff.
Pelosi is also taking heat for remarks she made Monday at the London School of Economics, in which she seemingly downplayed her and Ocasio-Cortez’s stunning midterm election victories.
“When we won this election, it wasn’t in districts like mine or Alexandria’s. And she’s a wonderful member of Congress, I think all of our colleagues will attest,” the California Democrat said.
“But those are districts that are solidly Democratic. This glass of water would win with a “D” next to its name in those districts,” she said as she hoisted a glass of water.
Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, and Omar all represent a new progressive wing of the Democratic Party that is calling for Medicare for all, free college tuition, and a more forceful response to fight climate change.
Pelosi warned Democrats about taking the party too far left, saying “our message, our progressive message, is down the middle.”
ABC News’ Meridith McGraw contributed to this story.