Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) defended her much-criticized description of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks as "some people did something" by referencing a famous quote from former President George W. Bush soon after the attacks had taken place.
Which Bush quote?
On Sept. 14, 2001, Bush stood in the rubble of the World Trade Center, speaking to New Yorkers through a bullhorn. When someone in the crowd called out that they couldn't hear him, he gave what turned out to be one of his most memorable quotes:
"I can hear you! I can hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon."
The crowd cheered and erupted in cheers of "USA! USA! USA!"
What did Omar say?
During an event for a Muslim rights group in March, Omar said that the Council for American Islamic Relations (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 faced backlash for this comment, which many say as dismissive of the terror attack. One of Omar's congressional colleagues, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), tweeted a video of her comments and added "First Member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as 'some people who did something'. Unbelievable."
In a tweet on Monday, Omar quoted Bush's speech in an attempt to defend her own comments: ""The people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!" President George W. Bush Was Bush downplaying the terrorist attack? What if he was a Muslim."
She ended her tweet with a thinking face emoji and a link to a "Fact Checker" Washington Post story by Glenn Kessler. In the piece, Kessler says that Omar's speech in its entirety reminded him of Bush's speech at Ground Zero, as well as a speech he gave three days later at the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C., where he cautioned Americans against blaming their American Muslim neighbors for the attacks.
Kessler did also note that CAIR was founded in 1994, not 2001, and that while not a terror group itself, it had been declared an 'unindicted co-conspirator' by a federal judge in a 2010 case related to a charity that funded terrorism.