Trump Attacks Ilhan Omar After Supporter Arrested For Death Threat

Just hours after a Trump supporter was arrested and charged with threatening to assault and murder Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, the president targeted the freshman congresswoman during a speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual convention in Las Vegas. Patrick W. Carlineo Jr., a 55-year-old from Addison, New York, was arrested on April 5 after he allegedly made a threatening phone call to Omar’s Washington, DC office on March 21. According to the US Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York, Carlineo called Omar a “terrorist” and threatened “put a bullet in her [expletive] skull” because of her Muslim faith.

A staff member at Omar’s office received the phone call at around 12:20 p.m., US Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. said in a statement. Carlineo asked the staff member, “Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her?” before threatening to shoot Omar in the head.

Authorities said Omar’s staff referred the threat to US Capitol Police, which began an investigation with the FBI. Because Carlineo gave Omar’s staff member his name and a phone number, authorities were able to trace him to an address in New York, the Elmira Star-Gazette reported.

While being questioned by FBI agents on March 29, Carlineo allegedly said he was a patriot, that he loves President Donald Trump, and “that he hates radical Muslims in our government.” Carlineo also confirmed to authorities that he had a shotgun and a .22-caliber rifle in his home.

Omar, a Democrat from Minneapolis, and Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat from Michigan, were the first Muslim women elected to Congress during the midterm elections in 2018. Carlineo initially claimed that he had told Omar’s staff, “If our forefathers were still alive, they’d put a bullet in her head.” He was later shown an email where his threatening statements were quoted; Carlineo admitted that he may have said something similar but was unsure, according to an affidavit.

Carlineo made an initial appearance before US Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson on April 5 and is in custody pending a detention hearing on April 10. If convicted, Carlineo faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. Shortly after Carlineo’s arrest, Trump referenced allegations of anti-Semitism against Omar while speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual convention on Saturday, April 6. “Special thanks to Rep. Omar of Minnesota,” Trump said at the event. “Oh, I almost forgot. She doesn’t like Israel…I’m so sorry.” The allegations stem from comments made by Omar on Twitter in February, where she said pro-Israel lobbyists were paying for the pro-Israel sentiment in Washington, according to Vox.

Omar’s office did not immediately respond to The North Star’s request for comment, but the Minnesota Democrat did reference Trump’s attack on Twitter. She shared a video of the president’s remarks and added a bilingual prayer in Arabic and English asking God to forgive him. “My Lord, forgive my people for they do not know,” she wrote. The prayer is similar to the dying words of Jesus, who begs his father for forgiveness after being crucified.

Trump and Omar have sparred several times since she took office in January. In February, Trump called on Omar to resign from Congress, calling her “terrible” and saying during a Cabinet meeting that “anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress,” CNN reported.

Omar accused the president of being racist in response. “You have trafficked in hate your whole life — against Jews, Muslims, Indigenous, immigrants, Black people and more. I learned from people impacted by my words. When will you?” she tweeted.

About the Author

Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various venues, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.