- Former President Barack Obama is set to meet with the freshmen House Democratic class next week in Washington, including controversial members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
- While Obama is largely revered among fellow Democrats, Omar recently criticised his administration’s immigration policies and drone warfare.
Former President Barack Obama is looking to make some new friends in Washington.
He’s set to gather with the more than 60 freshman House Democrats next week at a meet and greet in Washington, Politico reported Friday, including controversial members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
The event, which will be held at the home of Democratic benefactor Esther Coopersmith, will be limited to the members.
And a handful of the freshman cohort worked in the Obama administration, including former State Department assistant secretary Rep. Tom Malinowski, former Health and Human Services adviser Rep. Lauren Underwood, and Rep. Andy Kim, who served on the National Security Council.
Obama’s visit comes shortly after Omar, the Minnesota freshman member, made headlines earlier this month when she argued that many of Obama’s policies, including immigration and drone warfare, were “really bad,” and that Obama shouldn’t be given a pass by progressive Democrats simply because he has a “pretty face.”
“We can’t be only upset with Trump … His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was,” Omar told Politico. “We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognise the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.”
Omar has faced widespread criticism recently, including from members of her own party, for making comments critical of Israel that many interpreted as anti-Semitic. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she didn’t believe Omar’s remarks intentionally played into hurtful stereotypes, but added that she’s counseled Omar and other new members of her caucus to tone down their rhetoric.
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