“Squad” member Rep. Ilhan Omar responded to an explosive new report Thursday that she married her brother to allow him to study in the U.S.
Omar refused to answer questions about her personal life, calling allegations that she married her brother “fake news.”
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She finally broke her silence about the allegations following a Daily Mail report published Thursday that shed new light on her troubled marital history.
The Daily Mail cited a friend of Omar’s who said the congresswoman married her brother, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, while still married to her now-ex-husband Ahmed Hirsi.
The Minnesota Democrat, who endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, lashed out at both the bombshell report and “The View” co-host Meghan McCain, who on Wednesday attacked the behavior of Sanders’ supporters.
Responding to McCain, Omar wrote, “The same people who chastise the progressive movement regularly traffic in anti-Muslim smears and hate speech against me and those I represent,” Omar claimed. “It’s almost as if they don’t genuinely care about online harassment.”
“Paying people to generate fake new stories in order to delegitimize me and those I represent isn’t a good look. Desperation is a sad mobilizing tool,” she said of the Daily Mail report.
Paying people to generate fake new stories in order to delegitimize me and those I represent isn’t a good look.
Desperation is a sad mobilizing tool.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 20, 2020
The Daily Mail cited a former friend of Omar’s who said the congresswoman admitted she had married her brother.
Abdihakim Osman, a Somali community leader in Minneapolis, said, “People began noticing that Ilhan and Southside (Hirsi) were often with a very effeminate young guy,” That guy was Omar’s brother, Ahmed Elmi.
“[Hirsi] and Ilhan both told me it was Ilhan’s brother and he had been living in London but he was mixing with what were seen as bad influences that the family did not like,” Osman said. “So they sent him to Minneapolis as ‘rehab,’” Osman said.
“She said she needed to get papers for her brother to go to school. We all thought she was just getting papers together to allow him to stay in this country,” Osman told the Daily Mail. “Once she had the papers they could apply for student loans. They both moved to North Dakota to go to school but she was still married to [Hirsi]. In the Somali way, the only marriage that mattered was the one in the mosque.”
“When [Hirsi] and Ilhan got married, a lot of people were invited. It was a big Islamic wedding uniting two large clans in the Minneapolis community,” he added. “When she married Elmi, no one even knew about it.”
As before, Omar initially refused to comment on matters involving her personal life.
“The Congresswoman is focused on the work her constituents sent her to Washington to accomplish,” a spokesperson said.
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