A Republican congressional candidate has defended tweets about Representative Ilhan Omar that led to her permanent ban from Twitter.
Danielle Stella, one of five Republican candidates hoping to battle Omar for Minnesota’s fifth congressional seat in 2020, was banned from the platform on Thursday after suggesting the freshman Democrat “should be tried for treason and hanged” if unproven allegations against her were true.
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Stella sent two tweets appearing to reference unverified claims that Omar is a Qatari asset using her position of power to funnel information to Qatar and Iran. A spokesperson for Omar condemned the allegations as Saudi Arabian misinformation.
Following the ban, Stella posted a lengthy Facebook post Friday in which she defended the language used in her Twitter posts.
“To clarify, I said, ‘If it is proven [Omar] passed sensitive info to Iran, she should be tried for treason and hanged,'” wrote Stella.
“Treason is the only thing mentioned in the constitution for the death penalty, punishable by hanging or firing squad. I believe all involved should be thoroughly investigated.
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“I did not threaten anyone. If you are calling it a threat—you believe that individual is guilty, and therefore it is not a threat, it’s treason. You and the fake news #MSM [mainstream media] are lying by calling it Iynching or terroristic threats.”
Stella added: “The only death threats I’m seeing is from the angry liberal mob where facts don’t matter, only emotion, and you’re somehow thinking you’re righteous by threatening my life, my supporters’ lives, my loved ones lives? No, this is wrong. You are hypocrites.”
Following Stella’s tweets that Omar should be tried for treason and hanged, her @2020mncongress account was suspended by Twitter. The landing page for the account reads: “Twitter suspends accounts which violate the Twitter Rules.”
The suspension was confirmed to Newsweek by a Twitter spokesperson who said: “The account was permanently suspended for repeated violations of the Twitter rules.”
Omar addressed Stella’s suspension on Twitter Friday, writing: “This is the natural result of a political environment where anti-Muslim dogwhistles and dehumanization are normalized by an entire political party and its media outlets.
“Violent rhetoric inevitably leads to violent threats, and ultimately, violent acts.”
Stella is running against Lacy Johnson, Lucia Vogel, Alley Waterbury and Brent Whaley in the Republican primary for Minnesota’s fifth district seat. The winner will go on to face Omar or her Democratic challenger John Mason.