Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) hit back at President Donald Trump on Wednesday after he said she should resign for her anti-Semitic tweets because “anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress.”
Omar ignited a firestorm after she suggested on Twitter that money from pro-Israel lobbyists drove Republican support for — and the defense of — Israel.
In particular, Omar pointed to the lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
The congresswoman, a Somali-American and a Muslim, fielded bipartisan backlash for those comments.
House Democratic leaders also released a statement condemning her remarks.
“Anti-Semitism must be called out, confronted and condemned whenever it is encountered, without exception,” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders said in the joint statement just the other day.
“We are and will always be strong supporters of Israel in Congress because we understand that our support is based on shared values and strategic interests,” the statement continued. “But Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive. We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments.”
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Omar formally apologized in a statement posted to Twitter with the words, “Listening and learning, but standing strong.”
“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” Omar said. “My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.”
But there was a caveat there as well.
“At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry,” she added. “It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it.”
Listening and learning, but standing strong 💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/7TSroSf8h1
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 11, 2019
But Trump was dissatisfied with Omar’s apology — and called for further repercussions on Tuesday while speaking to reporters.
“And Congressman Omar is terrible, what she said. And I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee,” Trump said, noting that “anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress.”
Vice President Mike Pence also denounced Omar in a tweet on Tuesday.
“[email protected] tweets were a disgrace & her apology was inadequate. Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress, much less the Foreign Affairs Committee. Those who engage in anti-Semitic tropes should not just be denounced, they should face consequences for their words,” Pence said.
.@IlhanMN tweets were a disgrace & her apology was inadequate. Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress, much less the Foreign Affairs Committee. Those who engage in anti-Semitic tropes should not just be denounced, they should face consequences for their words.
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) February 13, 2019
But Omar fired back at Trump on Wednesday.
She tweeted, “Hi @realDonaldTrump — You have trafficked in hate your whole life — against Jews, Muslims, Indigenous, immigrants, black people and more. I learned from people impacted by my words. When will you?”
You have trafficked in hate your whole life—against Jews, Muslims, Indigenous, immigrants, black people and more. I learned from people impacted by my words. When will you? https://t.co/EqqTyjkiNE
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 13, 2019
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