- Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota apologised on Monday after recent tweets on Israel and a pro-Israel lobbying group that lawmakers said used ‘anti-Semitic tropes.’
- Democratic leadership also condemned Rep. Omar’s tweets.
- President Trump said she should resign or relinquish her post on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
President Donald Trump said Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota should resign from Congress over remarks she made about Israel and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a pro-Israel lobbying group, that were widely viewed as anti-Semitic.
“Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday. “And Congressman Omar, it’s terrible what she said and I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”
“I think she should resign from Congress frankly, but at a minimum she shouldn’t be on committees, certainly that committee,” he added.
Trump also said that he believes Omar’s comments are “deep seeded in her heart” and panned her apology as “lame.”
Over the weekend, Omar wrote on Twitter, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” in response to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy threatening punishment for other statements. Omar also suggested the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has US lawmakers on a payroll, advancing a long-standing anti-Semitic figure of speech that Jews control politics and events through money.
“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 in a statement. “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 apologise.”
Omar has faced calls from House Republicans to be removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee as well.
When Pelosi appointed Omar to the coveted committee post, Republican leadership called it a mistake.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise said in a statement that it was “disgraceful” to give such a post “to a member who has a documented history of making anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks.”
Trump himself has been accused of peddling in anti-Semitic tropes. In 2016, Trump tweeted an image of then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton with a Star of David surrounded by money.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 7, 2016
Trump later backtracked, suggesting it was a sheriff star, not a Star of David. Trump used a colouring book from the animated movie “Frozen” as an example.
A Clinton spokesperson said at the time it was “a blatantly anti-Semitic image from racist websites to promote his campaign would be disturbing enough, but the fact that it’s part of a pattern should give voters major cause for concern.”
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