On Wednesday, Donald Trump repeated his claim that Rep. Ilhan Omar committed immigration fraud by illegally marrying her brother.
Trump made the statement while taking questions from a reporter with One America News Network before he left for his “Make America Great Again” rally in Greenville, North Carolina. Trump also made the statement again during the rally.
Reporter Emerald Robinson asked Trump “if the administration was looking into possible immigration fraud committed by Ilhan Omar for possibly marrying her brother.”
“Well, there’s a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother. I know nothing about it,” Trump said.
“I hear she was married to her brother. You’re asking me a question about it. I don’t know, but I’m sure there’s somebody who will be looking at that,” he added.
After repeating the claim Omar was related to her ex-husband, Trump told another reporter he’s “winning the political argument” against the four progressive congresswomen.
Trump’s statement comes amid his heated feud with a group of freshman congresswomen. The group is collectively known as “The Squad” includes Omar, Alexandria Oscio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.
On Sunday, Trump wrote on Twitter that the congresswomen should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done.”
Trump’s tweet resulted in the House of Representatives to adopt a resolution that condemned Trump’s tweets as “racist.”
The claim that Omar illegally wed her brother so he could gain American citizenship first surfaced in 2016 on a conservative blog “Power Line.” While Omar was running for the Minnesota state legislature.
In 2016, Omar stated that the blog post was a “baseless rumors” that “are absolutely false and ridiculous.”
The claim resurfaced when Omar ran for Congress in 2018, and a website set up by Republican Party members in Minnesota’s 5th District stated at the time: “Divorcing a husband isn’t usually a major topic of interest for the general public. However, when the husband of this state lawmaker was alleged to have been Omar’s brother, the voters should seek the truth.”
Omar would later go on to share that she married her husband, Ahmed Hirsi, in the eyes of her Muslim faith in 2002, but never “legally” married him. That relationship ended in 2008.
Omar then legally married Ahmed Nur Said Elmi in 2009, but that union ended in divorce in 2011.
“Insinuations that Ahmed Nur Said Elmi is my brother are absurd and offensive,” she said at the time.
The same year Elmi and Omar split, she reconciled with her first husband, and the pair are still together.
Of the claims, the independent fact-checking website Snopes wrote: “We found no public records or credible sources contradicting Omar’s account of her past, nor any substantive evidence corroborating claims that Elmi is her brother or that their marriage was otherwise fraudulent. In addition, some of the claims offered in support of the rumor don’t seem to add up.”
Omar is one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress. She immigrated to the US as a refugee. Omar became an American citizen at the age of 17.