Marco Rubio stands behind his attempt to smear Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) stands by his decision to post a fraudulent video attacking Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), even though the congresswoman has faced right-wing death threats.
On Thursday, Rubio posted a deceptively edited video designed to make it appear as if Omar said people should be "more fearful of white men."
In reality, Omar was addressing conservative attacks on Muslims over terrorism, and explaining that if fear drives American policies, white men — who have been behind most terrorist attacks in recent history — would be the ones who are profiled.
Rubio responded on Thursday evening to reporting exposing his actions and claimed he was justified.
"No, you got duped into proving my point," he wrote. "My tweet wasn't about her. It was about the double standard in how many in media would react." Rubio then reinforced his original lie by claiming that Omar said Americans should fear "white men."
Mehdi Hasan, the journalist who interviewed Omar in the clip, called out Rubio for promoting the lie and took note of ongoing death threats against the congresswoman.
"You're sharing a selectively-edited video from my show @AJUpFront to make @IlhanMN look bad and increase the number of death threats she already gets," he wrote. "Shame on you."
The hoax video was also prominently featured on Fox News Channel on Thursday night, with all three of the network's prime time hosts — Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham — spreading it to millions of their viewers.
Omar has been one of Trump's most frequent targets for his dishonest attacks.
In April, after Trump tweeted a video distorting Omar's comments on 9/11, she said she saw a spike in threats on her life.
"Since the President's tweet Friday evening, I have experienced an increase in direct threats on my life — many directly referencing or replying to the President's video," she said in a statement. Speaker Nancy Pelosi had a meeting with the House sergeant at arms, who is in charge of congressional safety, to discuss a security assessment for Omar.
After Trump attacked Omar and three other Democratic congresswomen earlier this month, telling them to "get out" of America (they are all American citizens), Rubio refused to denounce the racist statement.
The Miami New Times noted that Rubio's position was "hogwash" and noted, "It's also hogwash because people in Florida keep using Trump's words in death threats."
Rubio has gone from being a Trump critic to an enabler. and a key element in that transformation is engaging in the same kind of deceptive attacks that Trump has, even if it means endangering a life.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.