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GOP lawmaker denies he sent tweet calling Ilhan Omar ‘illegal’

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A Republican state senator from Maryland who recently announced he’s running for Congress says he didn’t send a tweet describing Rep. Ilhan Omar as an “illegal.”

Johnny Ray Salling tweeted Monday that last month’s tweet on his account “was not from me.” He added, “I don’t react to statements of negativity.”

GM Marylanders. I’m getting the record straight; the 7/24 tweet was not from me. I believe in God & Country 1st. Please note-I don’t react to statements of negativity. Thanks to a dear friend for her letting me know about this issue. Thank you for your understanding & support.

— Johnny Ray Salling (@SenJohnnyRay) August 26, 2019

Zainab Chaudry, the director of Maryland outreach for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, says Salling should apologize or resign.

The Baltimore Sun reported Monday that the tweet was posted July 24 in response to a Florida Republican’s tweet about a request for an ethics investigation into Omar, a Minnesota Democrat.

The tweet on Salling’s account said: “Get rid of this illegal know!!!!!”

But Salling says he didn’t remember posting that. The Sun reports he deleted the tweet after the interview, and he suggested he may have been hacked.

He told the newspaper he changed his Twitter password on Monday.


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