New York Post cover features Ilhan Omar quote and 9/11 terror attack

By Caroline Linton

/ CBS News

The New York Post's front page Thursday featured a photo of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack while using a partial quote by U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar. Some of Omar's Democratic colleagues, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley, have defended Omar, who is Somali-American and wears a hijab.

Thursday's cover of the New York Post featured a partial quote from Omar, "some people did something" on Sept. 11 and showed a photo of the Twin Towers after the planes hit. The main headline read: "Here's your something … 2,977 people dead by terrorism."

The most powerful cover we’ve run in my time here: “Here’s your something,” Rep. Omar! pic.twitter.com/jjPDSuyosJ

— Sohrab Ahmari (@SohrabAhmari) April 11, 2019

On March 23, Omar said at a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) banquet that the organization was formed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to protect civil rights. "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 the event. "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."

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Many on the right have been using the phrase "some people did something" to criticize Omar, accusing her of downplaying the terrorist attack. On "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday, host Brian Kilmeade said, "you have to wonder if she is an American first."

"As a Muslim-American, you should be more outraged because they sullied your religion," Kilmeade said of Omar during his morning broadcast. "In the name of religion they killed Americans and still do it on a daily basis."

On "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" on Wednesday night – before the New York Post hit newsstands – Omar responded to Kilmeade.

"When you have people on Fox News that question whether I am actually American or I put America first, I expect my colleagues to also say, 'that's not OK,'" Omar said. "Or when people say, you know, that because I'm a Muslim, I'm an immigrant, I'm a refugee, that I can't have any loyalty to our country. I took an oath. I took an oath to uphold the Constitution. I am as American as everyone else is. This double standard is quite offensive."

Full Extended Interview With Rep. Ilhan Omar by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on YouTube

Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw on Wednesday also criticized Omar. He tweeted a 19-second clip of Omar's CAIR comments, writing, "First member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as 'some people who did something.' Unbelievable."

On Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez quote-tweeted Crenshaw, writing that he was using "out-of-context quotes."

"In 2018, right-wing extremists were behind almost ALL U.S. domestic terrorist killings. Why don't you go do something about that?" Ocasio-Cortez wrote.

Omar, who was elected in November, has become one of the most high-profile lightning rods in Congress. She apologized after comments she made about Israel and Israeli lobbyists AIPAC were considered by some to be anti-Semitic. She told Colbert on Wednesday she is still "learning" about the weight of some comments.

"As I've said to my constituents and my colleagues, when you tell me that you are pained by something I say, I will always listen and I will acknowledge your pain," Omar said.

A New York man was arrested earlier this month calling Omar's Capitol Hill office and saying, "Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she's a (expletive) terrorist. I'll put a bullet in her (expletive) skull," according to the criminal complaint.

In March, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro questioned whether Omar's wearing a hijab indicated her adherence to Sharia law and alleged that it violated the Constitution. Fox News issued a statement saying it "strongly condemned" Pirro's remarks and her show did not air for two weeks.

Also in March, a West Virginia GOP event featured an anti-Muslim poster of Omar linking her to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The poster included a picture of planes flying into the World Trade Center with the phrase, "never forget, you said," and then under it, a picture of Omar with the words, "I am proof you have forgotten."

Omar, who represents Minnesota's 5th Congressional District, tweeted about the poster: "No wonder why I am on the 'Hitlist' of a domestic terrorist and 'Assassinate Ilhan Omar' is written on my local gas stations."

First published on April 11, 2019 / 10:00 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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