Republican candidate, Danielle Stella, who is vying to unseat Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) has been permanently suspended from Twitter after threatening Omar’s life on the platform over a debunked conspiracy theory.
On Tuesday, Stella spread a false story about the freshman congresswoman’s involvement in passing along classified information regarding Iran. One of Stella’s completely false tweets read: “If it is proven @IlhanMN passed sensitive info to Iran, she should be tried for #treason and hanged.”
According to the Washington Post, the candidate also shared a tweet that linked to a depiction of a hanging stick figure. Twitter confirmed the suspension to the paper earlier this week.
Stella reacted to the ban by slamming Twitter with more conspiracy theories, telling the Washington Times, “My suspension for advocating for the enforcement of federal code proves Twitter will always side with and fight to protect terrorists, traitors, pedophiles and rapists.”
On Friday, Omar released a statement where she placed blame for far-right trolls and conspiracy mongers like Stella at the feet of Republicans and President Donald Trump, writing, “This just shows how far the Republican Party has fallen under Trump. Their campaign strategy is just threats, disinformation and smears against their opponents and the people will continue to reject it.”
Omar also tweeted about the suspension and wrote about the violence that can result from the Islamophobic thoughts expressed by Stella, writing, “This is the natural result of a political environment where anti-Muslim dogwhistles and dehumanization are normalized by an entire political party and its media outlets. Violent rhetoric inevitably leads to violent threats, and ultimately, violent acts.”
Trump and those who follow him seem unconcerned for the freshman congresswoman’s wellbeing. The president often singles her out during rallies, making Omar the focal point of the now infamous “send her back” chant that his crowds revel in. It’s dangerous not to condemn voices like Stella’s. And under the current president, people like Stella are not condemned strongly enough, if at all, and with that, their confidence and acceptance has grown to the point where they are now looking for a seat at the political table.