Tucker Carlson launched yet another baseless and bigoted attack on Rep. Ilhan Omar last night, this time reviving the debunked claim that she married her brother with no evidence. I’m sure it was just a coincidence that this was the same day Donald Trump came under fire for falsely tweeting that she had partied on the anniversary of 9/11.
As Media Matters and others have noted, the claim about Omar’s marriage is a lot like birtherism in that it relies on baseless assumptions and leaps of logic about her marriage to Ahmed Nur Said Elmi whom she has subsequently divorced. Media Matters quotes this debunking passage from The New York Times:
In 2018, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Ms. Omar showed a reporter cellphone images of documents from her family’s entry into the United States in 1995. They listed her father and siblings by order of birth, with Ms. Omar listed as the youngest of seven children. Mr. Elmi’s name did not appear in the documents. According to the couple’s marriage certificate, he is also three years younger than Ms. Omar, whose mother died when she was 2 years old.
But Carlson seized on the fact that Omar deleted a six-year-old tweet wishing a man called “Nur Said” a happy Father’s Day. “Omar's ex-husband was called in a document Ahmed Nur Said Elmi. So it is Somali culture that a man's middle name is typically his father's name. That would suggest that this was a father and son. In other words, she would have been married to her biological brother.”
Carlson went on to say that Omar’s office said she deleted the tweet because of “constant threats” and that “Nur Said,” which her office said means “happy light,” is her father’s nickname.
Despite claiming his show is the “sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness and group think,” Carlson couldn’t be bothered to check if the translation was true (or maybe he had and didn’t want to say). Nor did he note the lack of real evidence behind the accusation.
Instead, Carlson introduced Power Line’s Scott Johnson, one of the Omar marriage conspiracy theorists, as a voice of authority. “So what do you make of the fact that she wrote this tweet in the first place? What does it tell us about the identity of her first husband, do you think?” Carlson asked.
Johnson claimed, “It’s become clearer every day, in particular this year, that she in fact, married her brother in the year 2009 for fraudulent purposes, and has been in a frenzy to delete social media evidence supporting that fact for the past three years and this tweet is one she somehow overlooked because it's kind of obscure, it is kind of in the weeds.”
Carlson did not ask what other “social media evidence” had existed or been deleted.
“It's one small piece of the puzzle that I think establishes the fact and conclusion that what she did in 2009 is marry her brother. She didn't get around to divorcing him until the year 2017,” Johnson added.
Carlson didn’t ask for any of the rest of the puzzle pieces. Instead, he wanted viewers to take that “small piece of the puzzle” for the entire picture. “She married her brother. She committed immigration fraud -- and by the way, no one is suggesting there was any romantic link between them, but they are suggesting it was fraudulent,” Carlson said, at once calling the accusation truth and acknowledging it was merely a suggestion.
Johnson further acknowledged he had never spoken to Omar’s ex-husband. The last reporter he knew of had done so in 2016. “And I believe he acknowledged that he was in the picture, but he didn't recall marrying her,” Johnson claimed.
You’d think a purported truth lover like Carlson would have done his own investigation into the situation before making such inflammatory accusations on prime time – but no. He let Johnson do the talking and baseless accusing.
Johnson claimed he is now “up to a hundred percent” certain of his accusation “based on my own reporting.” What is that reporting? Friends of Omar’s current husband, from whom she is apparently estranged, have told Johnson that the husband “is saying things such as, 'I'm not going to go to jail for her.' That she has been threatening him that if he were to say anything, he'd be in just as much trouble as she would and the like.”
“And it's made me conclude with absolute certainty, that we're in the middle of an unprecedented scandal in which a member of Congress married a sibling for fraudulent reasons,” Johnson announced.
That was all Carlson needed to declare, “This is a story that we should not ignore. It's not a prurient story. It's a serious story. And we should not be intimidated or deterred from covering it. I know that you won't be and I hope you'll join us as you find more.”
To be clear, neither Johnson nor Carlson had found anything other than a deleted tweet wishing someone a happy Father’s Day.
But Carlson, along with other Fox personnel, have some kind of obsession with Omar that might be funny if it weren’t so dangerous. It’s especially despicable given that earlier that same day, Omar said Trump had put her life in danger by tweeting a false claim that Omar had “partied on the anniversary of 9/11." (She had actually been dancing at a Congressional Black Caucus party on September 13th.) Yet Carlson never mentioned Trump’s proven falsehood.
Watch Carlson’s dangerous dishonesty below, from the September 18, 2019 Tucker Carlson Tonight. It begins at 10:35.