Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar on Tuesday night issued a strong rebuttal against Donald Trump over comments the president made at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania where he taunted the lawmaker over her Somalian heritage and suggested she was not American.
Speaking to thousands of tightly packed together supporters at Pittsburgh International Airport, many of whom were not wearing face masks, the president suggested Ms Omar, 37, was telling Americans "how to run our country” as he attempted to fire up his base in the key swing state ahead of November's election.
In a textbook example of dog-whistle racism, Mr Trump then asked Ms Omar: “How is your country doing?” Ms Omar, elected to the House of Representatives in 2019, was born in Somalia but was granted asylum in the US as a child. She later gained US citizenship.
Ms Omar, who has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration, was quick to hit back at the president. "Firstly, this is my country & I am a member of the House that impeached you," she wrote in a message posted on Twitter. "Secondly, I fled civil war when I was 8. An 8-year-old doesn’t run a country even though you run our country like one."
Mr Trump has repeatedly attacked Ms Omar since her election to office and used inflammatory language to describe refugees and minorities throughout his reelection campaign. At a separate event in Ms Omar's home state of Minnesota on Friday, the president said that if his rival Joe Biden was elected in November he would set off a “flood” of Somali refugees and others from the “worst” places on Earth into the state.
Firstly, this is my country & I am a member of the House that impeached you.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) September 23, 2020
Secondly, I fled civil war when I was 8. An 8-year-old doesn’t run a country even though you run our country like one. https://t.co/zcKKjdC8ju
In an exclusive interview with The Independent last week, Ms Omar said Trump had used her ethnicity as a lightning rod for his base. “I happen to embody multiple marginal identities. I’m a woman, I’m black, I’m a refugee, an immigrant, a Muslim and I wear a hijab," she said. "And all of those are identities that have been vilified by the right... and weaponised by Donald Trump".
During Tuesday night's rally, the president also attacked his rival Joe Biden for wearing a face mask during the coronavirus pandemic, and praised his old foe, senator Mitt Romney, for voicing his support for moving ahead with replacing the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before November's election.
The decision means Senate Republicans now have the numbers needed to ensure that the president's pick to succeed Ginsburg will face a confirmation vote.
Mr Trump, backed by Republicans, said he plans to appoint a female conservative justice, which would decisively tilt the ideological balance of power in the Supreme Court in favour of conservatives.
It would reshape the highest court in the land for a generation and have implications for some of the most important and fiercely contested issues in US law such as reproductive rights, voting rights and tax rules.
The president's visit to Pennsylvania was his fourth in recent weeks. Mr Trump was the first Repiublican since George H.W. Bush in 1988 to carry its electoral votes, which put him in the White House.
Should Mr Biden fail to win the state back then it would narrow his chances of winning November's election; some analysts say the state is a must win for the former vice president.