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U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — After facing the possibility of a libel lawsuit, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota, deleted a tweet last Wednesday that assailed the students of Covington Catholic High School.

Omar, who is the first Somali-American elected to Congress, also defended the black supremacists who taunted the teenage Kentucky students with racist and homophobic slurs.

Omar, a progressive Muslim, faced a social media backlash. Numerous other media and personalities acknowledged that initial reports and reaction to a viral video, which depicted an encounter between Covington Catholic students and a Native American counter-protester at the January 18th March for Life, was misreported.

An initial clip of the encounter seemingly showed the students jeering Native American protester Nathan Phillips, who was chanting and banging a drum just inches from the face of Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann. Additional video later revealed further context, showing that Phillips approached the students amidst racist jibes from Black Hebrew Israelite protesters.

Many of the students’ critics retracted their statements, but Omar chose to respond to President Donald Trump’s tweet defending the teens. Omar tweeted, “The boys were protesting a woman's right to choose and yelled ‘it’s not rape if you enjoy it’; They were taunting five black men before they surrounded Phillips and led racist chants; Sandmann’s family hired a right wing PR firm to write his non-apology.”

Robert Barnes, a Kentucky attorney who offered to represent the Covington families free of charge, went on Twitter to demand a retraction from Omar. “This is libel. Retract, or get sued,” Barnes succinctly declared in a tweet. He told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” “A lot of these journalists that have been saying false statements about these kids … all you have to prove is that they were negligent in doing so, and by this standpoint, by this point in time, it is clear that anyone who continues to lie and lie about these kids has done so illegally and can be sued for it.”.

Barnes said that possible legal fees in some libel lawsuits can reach as much as $1 million. 

Video recorded at the event showed how members of the Black Hebrew Israelite hate group were approached by Native Americans and blacks who refuted their racist taunts. The Black Hebrew Israelite group was heard to call the mostly white students of Covington Catholic “cracker,” “faggot” and “pedophile.” They referred to a black student at the school as “nigger” while claiming that white people seek to harvest his organs.

Appearing on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” Covington Catholic students Sam Schroder and Grant Hillmann said they received threats of sexual abuse and being burned alive after the controversy. “I was doxed three separate occasions before we posted that video. And the threats, they’ve been horrible,” Hillmann said on the program.

“I’ve never heard such cruel things wished upon another human being — ranges from getting locked inside a building and burned alive to sexually assaulted by the clergy members,” he said, adding: “It’s just awful.”

According to Schroder, classmate Sandmann was not disrespectful when he was approached by activist Phillips. He said Sandmann sought to be courteous. “I know no one from our school would be disrespectful,” he said. “And everybody else who was in the video that was surrounding the area — they told me that he had — he was not trying to do that at all. I know what kind of kids (Covington Catholic) raises and it’s not disrespect.”