Donald Trump unleashed a series of controversial late-night tweets from the G7 Summit in France over the weekend, reigniting his feud with Ilhan Omar and attacking Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The president promoted an unfounded and incendiary claim purported by the far right online that Ms Omar, a Democratic congresswoman of colour and former refugee from Somalia, married her brother years before she took office in 2018.
Mr Trump retweeted a video shared by the conservative group Judicial Watch claiming there was “credible evidence” the 37-year-old politician married her sibling, while calling on “federal officials and law enforcement to investigate her”.
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“It’s so bad in terms of the documentary evidence, we can’t even be confident her last name is Omar,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, told Breitbart in the video shared to Twitter on Sunday.
“It’s that crazy,” he added, before attributing evidence about the details of Ms Omar’s wedding to the conservative Powerline blog. “There’s all this evidence that has been out there, basically her hometown newspaper has confirmed the reporting of the Powerline blog.”
Mr Fitton concluded it was “well past time for federal officials and law enforcement to investigate” Ms Omar and for the US House of Representatives to “get on the ball as well with an ethics investigation”.
The claims Mr Trump helped spread have in fact not been confirmed and were described as “disgusting lies” by Ms Omar.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune did not confirm the Powerline blog’s reporting, as Mr Fitton claimed, but instead said it was not able to reach a complete conclusion during its investigation into Ms Omar’s wedding.
“It seemed clear that there is some kind of personal relationship between” Ms Omar and her ex-husband Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, the newspaper’s political editor Kevin Diaz told Politifact. “But whether they are family or not, we can’t tell. We weren’t able to come close to determining whether that was the truth. And frankly, we were wary of drawing any conclusions.”
Ms Omar has shot down the rumours, which seemingly stemmed from old social media posts that have since been shared by right-wing circles on the internet. The newspaper said its evidence largely came from those social media posts.
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“It’s really strange, right, to prove a negative,” Ms Omar told the Associated Press in 2018. “If someone was asking me, do I have a brother by that name, I don’t.”
The president also retweeted an image of him and Mr Trudeau shared by Canadian media personality Ezra Levant that said the Canadian prime minister “assumes a submissive position — politically, and even physically” when meeting with Mr Trump.
“No, we actually had a very good and productive meeting,” Mr Trump wrote along with the picture, adding: “Nice!”
The posts arrived as Mr Trump was meeting with economic world powers at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France over the weekend. On Monday, the president missed a climate meeting with the economic world powers, delayed a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel by two hours, according to the Associated Press, and told reporters he was considering holding next year’s summit at his private golf resort in Miami, Florida.