Emmer doubles down, says Omar ‘is serving Somalia first’ in response to new video

Omar's opponent, Don Samuels, also criticized comments where the former Somalia prime minister reportedly said Somalis should not vote for a black man.

Former Somalia Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire speaks at a Somali Independence Day event in Minneapolis. (Dr. Caaro/Twitter)

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar is facing criticism for comments former Somalia Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire reportedly made about her during his recent visit to Minnesota.

“He says the quiet part out loud. Ilhan Omar is serving Somalia first, not America,” House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, Minnesota’s highest-ranking Republican, wrote on Twitter, echoing a statement he made earlier this year about the Minneapolis congresswoman.

He was responding to a viral video of Khaire’s speech at a Somali Independence Day celebration in Minneapolis over the weekend.

“The interests of Ilhan are not Ilhan’s. It’s not the interest of Minnesota, nor is it the interest of the American people. The interests of Ilhan is that of the Somalian people and Somalia,” Khaire allegedly said during his speech, according to a translation accompanying the video.

Khaire was the nineteenth prime minister of Somalia. He stated during his speech that Omar’s success is the “success of Somalia,” according to the translation. He then asked Somali people “everywhere they are on the planet” to donate money to Omar’s re-election campaign and to “support her with your votes,” the video translation says.

He apparently finished his speech with, “Long live Somalia.”

An additional video was discovered by a Minnesota Reformer reporter of a meeting that took place with Khaire, Omar and other officials. The video appears to have been originally posted on Snapchat.

Along with Omar, state Reps. Mohamud Noor and Hodan Hassan, and Minneapolis City Council Member Jamal Osman were in attendance.

During the meeting, Khaire reportedly expressed his belief that Somalis should not vote for a black man or a white person to Omar’s seat so that “Ilhan as a Somali is in that place for us.”

“Any Somali who believes that a black man should take that seat or a white person, there is something wrong with that person’s morals,” Khaire said, according to a translation of his remarks in the video’s subtitles. Former Minneapolis City Council Member Don Samuels, who is black, is running against Omar in the Democratic primary.

“Mr. Khaire’s comments are deeply unsettling, inconsistent with the values our community holds, and not reflective of the views of the Somali voters my campaign and I have spoken with,” Samuels said in response.

“These comments represent a cynical divide-and-conquer approach to politics. Rep. Ilhan Omar should rebuke his words for the harm they cause in our community.”

Osman posted photos on the social media platform X of Khaire visiting the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in Minneapolis.

The translations of the videos have not been independently verified by Alpha News. Omar’s congressional office and her campaign did not respond to requests for comment from Alpha News.


Hayley Feland

Hayley Feland previously worked as a journalist with The Minnesota Sun, The Wisconsin Daily Star, and The College Fix. She is a Minnesota native with a passion for politics and journalism.