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Ilhan Omar accuses GOP critics of 'projecting their filth' in allusion to allegations against her

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., implied on Wednesday that her critics were “projecting” their affinity for incest when they accused her of marrying her brother.

She was responding to comments Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, made, apparently defending the practice. “Gross! This would explain why these weirdos are fixed on smearing me with claims of incest. Projecting their filth, unreal,” she tweeted, alongside a link to his remarks.

“What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest?” King reportedly asked. According to The Des Moines Register, the Iowa congressman was discussing his opposition to incest exceptions for abortion restrictions.

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Omar has denied allegations that she married her brother in an act of apparent immigration fraud. She married Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, whom she said is a British citizen, on Feb. 12, 2009, according to a marriage certificate issued in Hennepin County. Omar said that the relationship ended in 2011 and the two divorced in their faith tradition, but she didn’t take legal action to divorce him until 2017.

The Minnesota congresswoman has become a lightning rod for criticism since her election in 2018.

The president, among others, addressed the accusation in July. “There’s a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother. I know nothing about it. I hear she was married to her brother. You’re asking me a question about it. I don’t know, but I’m sure that somebody will be looking at that,” he said while answering a question.

That marriage was one of the issues Minnesota’s Star Tribune raised when it questioned her credibility in a June editorial.

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As the Star Tribune noted, the state’s Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board reported that Omar and her husband filed joint tax returns while she was married to another man. Minnesota law only allows spouses to file jointly in civil marriages, whereas Omar filed with a man with whom she was only married in “faith tradition.”

“It is even more disturbing, therefore, to learn that among the board’s latest findings … Omar, for two years running, filed joint tax returns with a man she was living with but not legally married to. Complicating matters further, she was legally married to another man at the time,” the editorial read.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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