GOP lawmaker denies he sent tweet calling Ilhan Omar 'illegal'

Johnny Ray Salling claimed he wasn't responsible for a July tweet that said, "Get rid of this illegal know!!!!!"
Image: Ilhan Omar, FILES-US-ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN-CONFLICT-POLITICS
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., addresses remarks by President Donald Trump at a news conference at the Capitol on July 15, 2019.Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images file

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By Associated Press

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."

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.