Trudeau slams 'send her back' chant about Ilhan Omar at Trump rally

WASHINGTON – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in on the controversial “send her back” chant at President Donald Trump’s Wednesday rally, calling it “hurtful, wrong and completely unacceptable.”

According to the Canadian newspaper the Globe and Mail, Trudeau and European Union President Donald Tusk denounced the comments at a trade summit news conference on Thursday. 

“I want everyone in Canada to know that those comments are completely unacceptable and should not be allowed, encouraged in Canada,” said Trudeau. 

Earlier in the press conference, Tusk had quipped that he felt “at home” in Montreal, where he “didn’t hear anyone shouting ‘send him back.'”

Reuters video shows Tusk saying, “sometimes if you feel that something is totally unacceptable you have to react, despite business, despite interest, for me, values are much more important than trade,” Tusk said, “maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I will never change my opinion.”

The chant: Outrage, expressions of support for Rep. Ilhan Omar after ‘send her back’ chant at Trump rally

What we know: the ‘send her back’ chants that erupted at Trump’s North Carolina rally

During Trump’s Wednesday rally in North Carolina, after he denounced Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., the crowd started chanting “send her back,” a reference to Trump’s Sunday tweets about freshmen progressive lawmakers needing to “go back” to other countries. Omar came to the United States as a refugee and is a naturalized U.S. citizen. 

There were two instances during which the North Carolina crowd began chanting “send her back.” The president did not stop the first time, and continued on with his speech. However, during a second round of the chants, Trump paused for several seconds as the chant grew louder.

Trump disavows the chant: Donald Trump blames supporters for ‘send her back’ taunts against black lawmaker

The chant: ‘Send her back’ Trump rally chant heightens calls for increased security for Rep. Omar

The chants sparked a wave of condemnation and outrage from Democrats, and some criticism from congressional Republicans. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., called for Rep. Omar to have increased security in the event she received threats.  

Trump later disavowed the chants and blamed the crowd for them, saying, “I didn’t say that,” referring to the chant. “They did.”

Contributing: Rebecca Morin. 

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