Ilhan Omar's opponent banned from Twitter after suggesting congresswoman should be hangedComments
Twitter permanently banned Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar's Republican opponent on Friday after she accused the Minnesota congresswoman of treason and wrote on the platform that Omar should be hanged.
Danielle Stella, a candidate hoping to challenge Omar for her Minnesota seat in the 2020 election, tweeted earlier this week, "If it is proven @IlhanMN passed sensitive info to Iran, she should be tried for #treason and hanged."
The post that followed included a crude drawing of a body hanging from gallows with a link to a right-wing website on her belief that Omar should be hanged if a conspiracy that Omar provided sensitive intelligence to Qatar and Iran were true.
NBC News has found no evidence that support this claim, but Stella is also aknown purveyor of the far-right fringe QAnon conspiracy theory.
A Twitter spokesperson confirmed on Saturday that Stella had been permanently banned from the platform but did not specify why.
"The accounts were permanently suspended for repeated violations of the Twitter Rules," the spokesperson said over email, referring to the candidate's campaign and personal accounts.
After receiving considerable backlash for the posts, Stella defended herself on Facebook. She claimed that she had not threatened Omar.
"Breathe, think this through, logically. To clarify, I said, 'If it is proven ____ passed sensitive info to Iran, she should be tried for #treason and hanged,' Stella wrote on Facebook, leaving a blank space where Omar's Twitter handle had been. "Treason is the only thing mentioned in the constitution for the death penalty, punishable by hanging or firing squad. I believe all involved should be thoroughly investigated. I did not threaten anyone."
Stella did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.
Omar responded to Stella's comments on Twitter, stating that the Republican candidate's latest statements only expands on dangerous political rhetoric that can lead to threats and harm.
"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," Omar wrote on Twitter. "Violent rhetoric inevitably leads to violent threats, and ultimately, violent acts."
Omar has received a number of death threats since winning her seat in the 2018 midterms. President Donald Trump has often taken abusive swipes at the congresswoman on Twitter, which has caused Democrats to accuse him of trying to incite violence against the Muslim lawmaker.
A New York man pleaded guilty on Nov. 18 to threatening to kill Omar in a March call to her office. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.