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Alex Witt Tries To Victim-Blame Ilhan Omar, Zerlina Maxwell Shuts It Down

Alex Witt tried to somehow blame Rep. Omar for the abuse coming at her from the Donald Trump's Republican party, and Zerlina Maxwell was not having it.

Zerlina Maxwell joined Alex Witt and Rick Tyler on MSNBC on Saturday to talk about the latest attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar. For some reason, Witt tried to frame it as if Omar brought this abuse on herself. Zerlina Maxwell was not having it and shut her down real fast.

ALEX WITT: Zerlina, in terms of being outspoken, did she do herself significant harm by her comments about Jewish people?

MAXWELL: You know, I think the reason why I think people push back against the pile-on with her first comments is because we saw this coming, exactly what's happening right now. On the one hand she said something that definitely trafficked in tropes, anti-Semitic tropes, but she apologized. And yet every single time she says something else, we try to frame that as some sort of anti-semitic thing when she's not the one being anti-semitic. For Republicans and Kevin McCarthy and Donald Trump Jr., all of these folks who literally retweet Nazis to call her out for being anti-semitic while they're being anti-semitic is ridiculous. And I think the hypocrisy is very clear.

I understand you need to be careful with your words. I don't know if it's because she and I are the same age but I have a deep empathy with her as a fellow black woman who sometimes may misspeak or say things that are not as articulate as I would like them to be. I think as a new freshman congresswoman and a woman under scrutiny she never faced before, she's going to perhaps make some mistakes but she earnestly apologized and none of the people who have attacked her apologized or even condemned the attacks against her and death threats she's receiving.

I think while she can be more articulate, we all can be. But she apologized and I think she meant it. We need to be fair in our critiques instead of like Dan Crenshaw, who legitimately took her way out of context and puts his hands up and acts like he doesn't know why this happened and everybody is attacking her when he actually ginned up this hate against her.

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The idea people are so naive they couldn't expect she would get an increase in death threats when they're taking her words out of context on purpose in order to generate more death threats, I think that's where we need to put more scrutiny on those folks and their words. So I would say, Alex, we should look at what Dan Crenshaw said and analyze his words and hopefully he will be more careful and what he's saying in the future.

WITT: These are great conversations.

RICK TYLER: Let's not forget the patriotic Americans who died in 9/11 and who are Muslim as well.

WITT: Absolutely.

As a reminder, this is the horrifying video Donald Trump tweeted Friday night (and then retweeted Saturday morning):


— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2019

Trump also retweeted this grotesquely Islamophobic tweet:

How is this woman walking the halls of Congress. How.

— Erielle Davidson (@politicalelle) April 12, 2019

Dan Crenshaw posted this absolutely despicable tweet earlier this week:

First Member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as “some people who did something”.


— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) April 9, 2019

And then when (rightfully) called out for inciting violence against Rep. Omar, he responded with this tweet:

Just so we are clear on basic notions of reality:

When someone calls out a public official for things they said, it is not endangering their life or inciting violence.

Claiming otherwise is just an attempt to silence your critics.

— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) April 13, 2019

If Rep. Omar gets attacked, it falls squarely on the shoulders of the Republican Party and Donald Trump.

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