Rep. Ilhan Omar says Rep. Kevin McCarthy is a ‘liar and a coward’ and says GOP is ‘normalizing anti-Muslim bigotry’

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado.
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images and Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images
  • Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar on Sunday called House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy a “liar and a coward.” 
  • McCarthy on Friday indicated House Republicans would take no action against Rep. Lauren Boebert, who made anti-Muslim remarks.
  • Omar said “we have to push them to reckon with the fact that their party right now is normalizing anti-Muslim bigotry.”

Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar on Sunday called House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy a “liar and a coward” and said the Republican Party was “normalizing anti-Muslim bigotry.” 

Omar’s comments follow weeks of back-and-forth between herself and Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Republican, who at an event in November implied that Omar, who is Muslim, was a terrorist.

“It’s shocking and unacceptable,” Omar, a Democrat, said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “And it’s very unbecoming of a congresswoman to use that kind of derogatory, dangerous, inciting language against a colleague. Many of us thought, post-9/11, that we were on the mend.” 

As Insider previously reported, McCarthy on Friday indicated that House Republicans would take no action against Boebert after she compared Omar to a suicide bomber, saying “she apologized publicly, she apologized personally.” 

 

Boebert in a tweet said she apologized to “anyone in the Muslim community I offended” though she later in a video shared details of a contentious phone call between herself and Omar, calling the Minnesota lawmaker “anti-American.” 

“McCarthy is a liar and a coward,” Omar told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “He doesn’t have the ability to condemn the kind of bigoted Islamophobia and anti-Muslim rhetoric that are being trafficked by a member of his conference.

“Because this is —this is who they are,” she continued Sunday. “And we have to be able to stand up to them. And we have to push them to reckon with the fact that their party right now is normalizing anti-Muslim bigotry.”

McCarthy has not yet publicly commented or responded to Omar’s remarks.

Omar also said when she was first elected to Congress in 2018, she recieved phone calls from world leaders who congratulated her “because they thought America was past its sort of post-9/11 Islamophobia,” she said. 

“And to see this happen right now in the halls of Congress really is damaging, not just to the Muslim community, to myself, but to the kind of country we want to be,” she added.