President Trump on Thursday denied responsibility for the "send her back" chant directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) at a North Carolina campaign rally on Wednesday, and falsely claimed that he "started speaking very quickly" to cut off the chant after it began.

REPORTER: Are you concerned with your supporters chanting "Send her back" about Congresswoman Omar, that it puts her in danger?
TRUMP: I have tremendous support. I wasn't happy with that message they gave last night. That was a packed arena. ... I think we have far more support than they do and we have far more energy than they do and we're going to have a very interesting election. But I was not happy when I heard that chant."
REPORTER: Why did they do it?
TRUMP: You would have to ask them. What I would suggest, I was not happy with it, but what I would suggest, you go there, go to North Carolina, and you ask the people why did they say that. But that's what they said.
REPORTER: You'll stop them if they try to do it again?
TRUMP: I didn't like that they did it and I started speaking very quickly. Excuse me. Really? If you would have heard, there was a tremendous amount of noise and action and everything else. I started very quickly. And I think you know that. Maybe you're giving me too much credit.

Reality check: Trump let the chant go on for about 13 seconds before speaking again at the rally on Wednesday night. The chant was indisputably inspired by his racist attacks on Omar and other progressive women of color on Sunday, in which he argued that they should "go back" and help fix the places where they came from instead of criticizing the U.S.

  • Omar, who came to the U.S. as a teenage refugee from Somalia, is the only one of the four lawmakers born outside of the country. She is a naturalized citizen and a democratically-elected member of Congress.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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Why it matters: The likely fallout from the meeting is that the growing boycott of Facebook's advertising platform, which has reached nearly 1000 companies in less than a month, will extend longer than previously anticipated, deepening Facebook's public relations nightmare.

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