Administration

Pence rips Omar’s ‘inadequate’ apology for tweets criticized as anti-Semitic

Stefani Reynolds

Vice President Pence on Tuesday chastised Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), calling her recent tweets that were condemned as anti-Semitic “a disgrace,” and her subsequent apology “inadequate.”

“Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress, much less the Foreign Affairs Committee,” Pence tweeted. “Those who engage in anti-Semitic tropes should not just be denounced, they should face consequences for their words.”

The vice president’s condemnation echoed that of President Trump, who earlier Tuesday dismissed Omar’s apology as “lame” and called for her resignation.{mosads}

“Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress,” Trump said during a Cabinet meeting at the White House. “And I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”

Omar apologized on Monday for comments the previous day suggesting that U.S. support for Israel is the result of money flowing from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), an influential pro-Israel lobbying group. In her apology she said her “intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole.”

The Minnesota Democrat on Sunday evening retweeted journalist Glenn Greenwald’s response to a story about House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) promising “action” against Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and herself over their alleged anti-Semitism.

She captioned that retweet with the message, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” referring to money.

When asked on Twitter who she “thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel,” Omar replied “AIPAC!” referring to the group that promotes close ties between the U.S. and Israel. The organization does not donate directly to political candidates, but many of its members do.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders condemned the lawmaker’s use of “anti-Semitic tropes” that are “deeply offensive.”

Republicans have lambasted Omar over the comments, and called on Democrats to strip her of her seat on the Foreign Affairs panel. After she apologized, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told Roll Call that she would not lose her assignment.

Critics of the Republican backlash have questioned why Republicans have been reluctant to speak out against Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who has for years made inflammatory comments about Hispanic immigrants.

GOP leaders last month stripped King of his committee assignments after he questioned why the terms “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” are offensive, contrasting it to Democrats’ response to Omar.

Tags Donald Trump Ilhan Omar Kevin McCarthy Mike Pence Nancy Pelosi Rashida Tlaib Steny Hoyer Steve King
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