That cha-ching sound you hear is one of the unintended consequences of President Donald Trump‘s blatant attempts to fire up his base through Islamophobic attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar. The newly elected Minnesota Democrat is just one of the first two Muslim women ever elected to Congress, and she just so happens to be Black, two of the president’s main targets.
But his racist, fear-mongering attacks on Omar have apparently backfired for the xenophobe in chief.
Many of Omar’s supporters have responded to Trump’s anti-Muslim, white nationalist propaganda by pouring donations into the congresswoman’s campaign fund, Politico reported Monday. In the first quarter of this year, she was one of the top House Democrat fundraisers, raking in $832,000. About half of that money came from people who contributed less than $200.
News of Omar’s successful fundraising came as Trump escalated his rhetoric against Omar on Monday—just one day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she called on the U.S. Capitol Police and the House sergeant-at-arms to protect Omar, her family and staff.
Death threats against the congresswoman increased after Trump exploited Omar’s comment about the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which was taken out of context by the president. He tweeted an edited video on Friday of Omar superimposed over images of the devastating attack on America.
The freshman congresswoman has been the target of attacks by people who have interpreted a couple of her remarks involving Israel as anti-Semitic.
Omar first found herself in the middle of a firestorm on Feb. 12 after there was outrage over her comment to a tweet about how she and Michigan’s Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib—the other Muslim woman member of Congress—could face consequences for criticizing Israel.
“It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” she tweeted in reference to a slang term for $100 bills coined by rapper Notorious B.I.G. When asked whom she thought was paying lawmakers, Omar replied: “AIPAC!” a pro-Israel lobby group.
The congresswoman was ultimately forced to apologize, saying that her intention was never to offend “my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. . . . This is why I unequivocally apologize.”
After the first incident, some Democrats have reportedly been looking for a candidate to run against Omar in the next primary election.
The second round of outrage against Omar erupted from comments she made at a “progressive town hall” event in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 27.
“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” Omar said at the event, supposedly referring to Israel.
That remark was met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders drafting a resolution clearly directed at and prompted by Omar though not naming her specifically. The House passed the resolution that broadly condemned hate and intolerance.
As attacks on Omar increase, it appears that her political war chest will also grow too, enabling her to better defend her congressional seat.