President Trump will hold a campaign rally next month in the Minnesota district of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), part of a bid to win a state he narrowly lost in 2016 but has expressed confidence he can flip in 2020.
The rally will take place at the Target Center in Minneapolis, home to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Trump lost Minnesota and its 10 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton in 2016 by roughly 45,000 votes. But his campaign has targeted it as one of a few states it believes it can flip in his reelection bid.
The president has claimed in recent months that he believes he will win the state of Minnesota in 2020 in large part because of Omar. Trump has repeatedly targeted the freshman congresswoman for criticism, at times drawing rebukes from his own party members.
“In 2016 I almost won Minnesota. In 2020, because of America hating anti-Semite Rep. Omar, & the fact that Minnesota is having its best economic year ever, I will win the State!” Trump tweeted in July.
In 2016 I almost won Minnesota. In 2020, because of America hating anti-Semite Rep. Omar, & the fact that Minnesota is having its best economic year ever, I will win the State! “We are going to be a nightmare to the President,” she say. No, AOC Plus 3 are a Nightmare for America!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2019
Omar is a member of “the squad” of four freshmen progressive women that Trump told earlier this year to “go back” to the countries they came from. She responded to the rally’s announcement on Twitter, saying Minnesota “welcomes everyone with open arms,” but will continue to reject Trump and his “campaign of lies and bigotry.”
Our beautiful state welcomes everyone with open arms.
But to be clear: we will continue reject you and your campaign of lies and bigotry. https://t.co/aQnZxcW42V
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) September 26, 2019
Shortly after that supporters at a Trump rally in Fayetteville, N.C., in July chanted “send her back” about Omar, a Somali-born refugee. Democrats voiced outrage and some Republicans expressed discomfort with the chant in the days that followed. Trump initially said he did not like the chants, but then praised the attendees as patriots.
Trump has decried Omar as anti-semitic for her comments critical of the U.S.-Israel alliance and in support of Palestinians.
After Omar earlier this year said she felt Muslims were broadly painted in a bad light because “some people did something” on 9/11, Trump seized on the comments as minimizing the terrorist attacks.
He drew criticism when he tweeted out a video that interspersed Omar’s comments with footage of the Twin Towers engulfed in flames. Omar later shared that she had received increased death threats in the wake of the tweet.