White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham on Monday argued that President Donald Trump’s retweet of a photoshopped image of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in Muslim garb in front of an Iranian flag was an effort to show that Democrats side with terrorists.
“I think the president is making clear that the Democrats have been parroting Iranian talking points and almost taking the side of terrorists and those who are out to kill Americans,” Grisham said on Fox News.
“I think the president was making a point that the Democrats hate him so much that they are willing to be on the side of countries and leadership of countries who want to kill Americans,” she added.
Stephanie Grisham, on Trump retweeting Schumer and Pelosi in Muslim garb: He's making clear that the Democrats have been parroting Iranian talking points and almost taking the side of terrorists.
Fox anchor: Y'know, it's interesting that his Farsi tweet was really popular. pic.twitter.com/aSdtlLaeTB
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) January 13, 2020
Trump on Monday morning retweeted the image from Twitter user @D0wn_Under, who tweeted it with the caption “The corrupted Dems trying their best to come to the Ayatollah’s rescue.”
— داون آندر (@D0wn_Under) January 13, 2020
Grisham’s remarks come on the heels of multiple Republicans baselessly claiming Democrats are “mourning” the death of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, The Daily Beast noted. Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) accused Democrats of being “in love with terrorists” before apologizing on Twitter amid the intense backlash he received.
Former government officials and activists took to Twitter to condemn the tweet as anti-Muslim.
“The President of the United States is engaging in hate speech against an entire religion,” tweeted Dana Shell Smith, a former ambassador to Qatar during the Obama administration. “And because he is President, it is in our name. It is on all of us – especially our elected officials- to demand that it stop.”
Jasmine El-Gamal, another former Obama administration official, called the tweet “deeply damaging” to Muslims in the United States.
“The picture highlights a deeply disturbing truth, which is that this President thinks that a good way to insult someone is by painting them as Muslim or as sympathetic to a Muslim country,” she tweeted.