North Carolina

Fact check: At Trump rally, Bishop tells only half the story about McCready and Omar

President Donald Trump wasn’t the only one trying to score political points off Ilhan Omar during Trump’s rally in Greenville.

Trump on Wednesday deepened his feud with Democratic Rep. Omar of Minnesota, a Muslim woman who came to the United States from Somalia as a child refugee. Trump accused her of being anti-Semitic.

At one point during the rally, Trump welcomed Republican NC Sen. Dan Bishop to the stage. And Bishop, who’s running for Congress in North Carolina’s 9th district, took the opportunity to tie his opponent to Omar.

Bishop said Dan McCready, his Democratic opponent, accepted a campaign donation from Omar.

“Dan McCready took money from Ilhan Omar,” Bishop told the crowd.

That’s not the whole story.

DONATION RETURNED

McCready received a $2,000 donation from Omar on Nov. 6.

But then, earlier this year, McCready returned that donation. He tweeted about the decision on April 17.

“Some folks are asking why I directed the return of Rep. Omar’s donation. I did this weeks ago because I vigorously disagree with any anti-semitic comments. Since this time, dangerous and hateful attacks have started against her... “ McCready tweeted.

“I condemn in the strongest terms the hateful rhetoric against her, the Muslim community and people of color. Too many have been hurt by our broken politics. We must end hate speech against all people and groups.”

OMAR’S COMMENTS

McCready at the time didn’t specify which of Omar’s comments made him uncomfortable. But the Los Angeles Times has chronicled some of her controversial statements.

Earlier this year, Omar apologized for tweeting in 2012 that “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

In February, Omar said supporters of Israel were only motivated by money. She tweeted, “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby!” and later apologized.

REACTION

PolitiFact reached out to Bishop’s campaign and asked why Bishop didn’t mention McCready’s decision to return Omar’s donation. Jessica Proud, a spokeswoman for his campaign, suggested the action doesn’t make a difference.

“Rep. Omar has a long and well-documented history of anti-Semitic remarks,” Proud said in an email, referencing the 2012 tweet. “So (McCready) should have never taken a cent from her in the first place.”

071919-DAN BISHOP-TEL-04.JPG
NC Sen. Dan Bishop of Mecklenburg County speaks alongside President Donald Trump Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at a rally in Greenville, NC. Bishop is running for Congress against Democrat Dan McCready in North Carolina’s 9th District. Bishop said McCready accepted a campaign donation from U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar. Bishop didn’t mention that McCready returned the money. Travis Long tlong@newsobserver.com

McCready spokesman Matt Fried, contacted by PolitiFact Friday, said McCready would rather serve his community than wade into a hostile and unproductive debate.

“It’s clear politicians in Washington have lost touch with the American values that define us as patriots and when they put hate — of any kind — above love for country, we damage this nation to its core,” Fried said in an email. “That’s why on Wednesday Dan McCready was in Mint Hill announcing his national service plan and calling on more young Americans to serve their country, through the military like Dan did, or through civilian service like AmeriCorps.”

OUR RULING

Bishop said McCready “took money from Ilhan Omar.” Omar did donate to McCready’s campaign last fall. But McCready returned the donation this spring.

Bishop didn’t mention the returned money on stage, which could leave some Trump supporters believing McCready supports Omar’s controversial comments. The claim is partly accurate but leaves out important details. We rate it Half True.

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Half True
Says "Dan McCready took money from Ilhan Omar"
Greenville, NC
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

This story was produced by the North Carolina Fact-Checking Project, a partnership of McClatchy Carolinas, the Duke University Reporters’ Lab and PolitiFact. The NC Local News Lab Fund and the International Center for Journalists provide support for the project, which shares fact-checks with newsrooms statewide. To offer ideas for fact checks, email factcheck@newsobserver.com.

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