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For years, movie critics of Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., have actually raised questions around her marriages and made the explosive case that she had actually married her brother.

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As Omar has come to be a frequent target of strikes by president Donald Trump, allies of the president have only ramped up their criticism the the congresswoman, that was a refugee and also is currently a naturalized U.S. Citizens of Somali descent.

Trump himself discussed the allegation the Omar had married her brothers on July 17. Talk to reporters prior to boarding marine One, trump card said, "There's a most talk about the fact that she was married to her brother. I recognize nothing about it."

Several media outlets, including the associated Press and also her hometown paper, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, have delved right into this question and also Omar’s an individual history.

In a June 23 article, the Star-Tribune composed that the "could neither conclusively confirm nor rebut the allegation that he is Omar’s sibling." that echoed the conclusion by Snopes.com in February 2019, that "the evidence uncovered thus much isn’t definitive enough to come down on one side or the other." elafilador.net was unable to reach a conclusion throughout the 2018 choice cycle.

The Star-Tribune has actually published the most detailed, evidence-based reporting. Right here are few of the key points from your report:

• In 2002, Omar, then 19, religiously married Ahmed Hirsi, yet not legally. Omar and Hirsi had two children, yet in 2008, they derived a spiritual divorce. The following year, in 2009, Omar married Ahmed Nur said Elmi both religiously and also legally.

Little is known around Elmi, various other than the Omar has referred come him as a "British citizen" and that that attended high school in the Minneapolis area and, like Omar, later attended north Dakota State University.

• In 2011, Omar and also Elmi divorce religiously, but remained married legally. In 2012, Omar and also Hirsi reconciled and had a third child. In 2017, Omar legally divorced Elmi, and also the complying with year, she legitimate married Hirsi.

• In 2016, as Omar to be seeking a state home seat, the conservative website AlphaNewsMN, followed by other ideological sites, posted a screenshot of an Instagram post — because deleted — that was allegedly uploaded through Elmi ~ above June 12, 2012, quickly after Omar offered birth to her 3rd child. The inscription of the photograph identified Elmi as holding the infant girl, calling she "nieces." come some, this argued a sibling relationship.

• Omar has denied the allegation the Elmi is her brother — she has referred to as the charges "disgusting lies," the AP reported — but has not noted further documentation come debunk it. She go tell the Star-Tribune in October 2018, before she was elected to Congress, that "it’s really strange, right, to prove a negative. … If someone was asking me, carry out I have a brothers by that name, ns don’t."

• In June 2019 a different problem emerged for Omar: during an investigation of alleged misuse of campaign funds by Omar, a Minnesota project finance board established that Omar had filed joint taxes returns with her future husband, Hirsi, at a time when she was legally married come Elmi.

Omar’s office advert elafilador.net to the response it detailed to the Star-Tribune, which states in part: "Ilhan has shared more than most public officials ever before do around the details of her an individual life — even when it is personal painful. Even if it is by colluding with right-wing outlets to go after Muslim chosen officials or hounding family members members, legit media outlets have a obligation not to fan the flames of hate. Continuing to do so is not just demeaning to Ilhan, yet to her whole family."

On July 18, elafilador.net interviewed Kevin Diaz, the Star-Tribune national politics editor who managed the post co-bylined by reporters J. Patrick Coolican and also Stephen Montemayor.

Here is ours conversation with Diaz, lightly edited for an are and clarity.


My attention as one editor started with the silence she has actually maintained around her improper tax filings. That obtained my attention. She would say just that she had corrected the 2014 and also 2015 tax filings and would not divulge anything about why she had actually filed taxes through a male she was not married to as soon as she to be separated however still married to someone else. It to be a organic question: who is Elmi and also how does he fit right into her life? we were not acquiring a many answers.

We also knew that because 2016, as soon as she was running for the legislature, conservative opinion journalists and also activists had been hounding her about these allegations, which had actually actually first surfaced in a neighborhood Somali news forum. We want to know, what is the instance to be created this narrative that won’t go away? She’s ours congresswoman. It to be a an extremely provocative allegation. Us felt together journalists, if there to be smoke, it’s our task to look at behind the to view if there’s fire. What’s behind it? What is the evidence?

So ns assigned a pair of reporters to go back over the case. The turned out that many of the proof behind (the id that she had actually married she brother) was in social media. So us looked at the society media trail. It had actually been clear all clean, and that piqued ours interest even more. But since the posts had been wiped, we had actually to count on display screen grabs that had actually been posted by world who we know have an ax to grind. Therefore it to be tricky.


Were this social media posts the main proof for the allegation the she had married her brother?

As much as I deserve to tell, it’s really just the social media posts. It appeared clear that there is some sort of personal relationship between Omar and also Elmi. However whether lock are family or not, us can’t tell. We weren’t able to come close to identify whether that was the truth. And frankly, we were wary the drawing any kind of conclusions.

They both saw North Dakota State University, and also they had overlapping addresses. Ours public documents searches identified that in at least one period after she married Elmi, all three (Omar, Elmi and also Hirsi) offered the same attend to in Minnesota. It raises questions around the nature of the connection if she is living through both the person she’s married to and her ultimate husband.

What’s really made it difficult is that she’s to be unwilling to deal with any of this questions. That has sustained the controversy. We quoted she at size to say the these were mere accusations, the they were unfair, and also that she shouldn’t have actually to deal with them. It is in that as may, there was an undisputed instance of she filing her taxes improperly. And if you’re in Congress, friend should define that to your constituents.

It’s true that for plenty of immigrants choose Omar, there room not a lot of of obtainable public documents from their house country. That works both because that and versus her. It have the right to leave family relationships murky. Yet in same to her, these allegations deserve to be difficult for she to disprove.


From start to finish, a couple of weeks. Castle were extending multiple everyday stories during that time, too. I have actually a team of six political reporters and also I placed two of them on the story. Our document had to be accused that neglecting the story earlier, and I felt favor we owed it to our readers.

It wasn’t easy — there just isn’t a lot of proof to mine in this area. There are some public documents searches we could do and a social media trail, however not a lot of difficult documentary proof unless she’s ready to re-superstructure them.


It come up as soon as she was running for Congress last year. One of our reporters challenged her about it last October. She walk not show us the immigration documents we request for, only a photograph of them on a cellphone.

We’ve asked her these questions, and additionally asked she to make her father available. We’ve tried to with Elmi. We’ve tried come reach she sisters. Her family might put this (the inquiry of Elmi’s partnership to Omar) to rest easily. No one will certainly talk come us. Ns wish we could send a reporter come Mogadishu (Somalia) however we don’t have actually the bandwidth.

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We have been slammed by both sides. ~ above the left, world are saying, "Why space you dignifying this unproven allegations?" come which i reply, "Look in ~ the tax filings — it would be journalistic negligence if we didn’t try to discover out what’s behind it."

On the right, the complaint has been that we did also little, too late: "This has been the story because that years — where have actually you been?"

Since the short article came out, no one has actually come forward v smoking-gun, decisive proof that would make the look favor we to let go something. You view circumstantial proof that begs because that some kind of explanation indigenous a member the Congress, but there’s no cigarette smoking gun the she married she brother.