Vice President Mike Pence, asked directly on “Fox & Friends” this morning for his take on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and whether she’s a reflection of today’s Democrat Party, was crystal-clear.
“Look, Ilhan Omar has made statements, anti-Semitic comments, statements against our most cherished ally Israel, that ought to be rejected by every American,” said the vice president.
“And, frankly, the fact that very recently, she’s been trying to blame the United States of America for the deprivation and the poverty brought on by the dictatorship in Venezuela — it just tells me, look the people of Minnesota will decide whether or not she remains in Congress. But Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has no place on the House Foreign Affairs Committee,” he added bluntly.
“And the Democratic leadership ought to remove her.”
Omar is one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress and is the first Somali-American in Congress.
In late February, while speaking at an event in Washington, D.C., she complained about why it wasn’t “OK” for her to talk about the “political influence” Jewish Americans have had in “influencing” U.S. policies.
“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” Omar said, apparently referencing Israel.
“I want to ask why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA [National Rifle Association], of fossil fuel industries, or Big Pharma — and not talk about a powerful lobbying movement that is influencing policy,” Omar added.
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Republicans and Democrats alike denounced Omar’s “anti-Semitic” remarks and demanded an apology.
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), who is Jewish, is the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on which Omar sits. He rebuked Omar in early March for those comments and demanded she apologize. “I welcome debate in Congress based on the merits of policy, but it’s unacceptable and deeply offensive to call into question the loyalty of fellow American citizens because of their political views, including support for the U.S.-Israel relationship,” Engel said in a statement.
“We all take the same oath. Worse, Representative Omar’s comments leveled that charge by invoking a vile anti-Semitic slur,” Engel added. “Her comments were outrageous and deeply hurtful, and I ask that she retract them, apologize, and commit to making her case on policy issues without resorting to attacks that have no place in the Foreign Affairs Committee or the House of Representatives.”
Omar, it appears to many, would rather speak about Israel and allege it is a country that practices policies against human rights than speak up for America and the country in which she was elected to the House of Representatives.
Then, in March, during a speech to CAIR — the Council on American-Islamic Relations — she outrageously described the 9/11 attackers as “some people,” instead of as Muslims, and she downplayed their horrendous actions on Sept. 11, 2001.
“CAIR was founded after 9/11,” she said, “because they recognized that some people did something, and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”
She was mistaken, of course, that “CAIR was founded after 9/11.” It was actually founded in 1994, according to its website, “to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America,” as PolitiFact noted on April 15 in the wake of her comments. The organization asked Omar’s staff “why she made such a clear mistake about an organization that she says she supports. Spokesperson Jeremy Slevin said that CAIR had doubled in size after the Sept. 11 attacks. ‘It was a misstatement, and she now knows that it was founded earlier,'” he said, as the site explained.
And recently, as Pence referenced on “Fox & Friends,” Omar blamed U.S. policy toward Venezuela for the current humanitarian crisis, telling Democracy Now, a left-leaning news group, “A lot of the policies that we have put in place [have] kind of helped lead the devastation in Venezuela. And we’ve sort of set the stage for where we’re arriving today.”
President Donald Trump has addressed her remarks and her rhetoric, commenting in various venues that Omar, through her comments, has shown herself to be “very unpatriotic.”
“The China delegation is here again,” he said. “The vice premier is here. President Trump said yesterday [Thursday] that he received another good letter from President Xi. He has a strong relationship.”
“We believe a deal is possible,” Pence added. “What President Trump has made clear is we think we’re in a very strong position either way.”