Omar says McCarthy following playbook ‘used by demagogues throughout history’
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Sunday said Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is following a political playbook “used by demagogues throughout history” by trying to “pit minority groups against each other” in his bid to remove her from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
McCarthy has accused Omar, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, of “repeated antisemitic and anti-American remarks” in explaining his bid to sanction her.
Omar has apologized for comments that critics said echoed antisemitic tropes, while defending her criticism of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
In a thread on Twitter Sunday night, Omar cited repeated examples of Republicans making offensive comments about Jewish people and Muslims, and accused McCarthy of demagoguery.
“McCarthy is following a well worn playbook: pit minority groups against each other in order to further marginalize them. It has been used by demagogues throughout history and it won’t work,” Omar said on Twitter.
McCarthy “did nothing” when Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) “said Muslims don’t belong in our government” and when Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) called Omar “a terrorist,” the lawmaker argued.
“He did nothing when MTG wanted [Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)] & I kicked out of Congress unless we swore in on a Christian Bible. Spare me the GOP hypocrisy,” Omar said.
Omar and Tlaib were the first Muslim women in Congress, while Omar is also the first Somali American.
Omar, during in an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, said the move to oust her from the Foreign Affairs Committee was due to her religion.
“These people are OK with Islamophobia. They’re OK with trafficking in their own ways in antisemitism. They are not OK with having a Muslim have a voice on that committee,” Omar said.
McCarthy formally blocked California Democratic Reps. Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff from the Intelligence Committee earlier this week, but the Speaker will need a House vote to remove Omar.
Democrats have rallied around Omar — and at least two Republicans have said they oppose ousting her, with others signaling skepticism.
Omar has said she didn’t understand that some of her comments about Israel may be linked to antisemitic tropes. On Twitter Sunday, she called out the “GOP hypocrisy” on the matter.
“Trump dined with Nazis, said ‘Jews have to get their act together,’ and said to a group of Jewish leaders, ‘You’re brutal killers. Not nice people at all. But you have to vote for me; you have no choice.’ He never apologized,” Omar said on Twitter Sunday.
“Kevin McCarthy himself accused Jewish donors of trying to ‘buy elections.’ He never apologized. Whip Tom Emmer said Jewish donors ‘essentially bought control of Congress.’ He never apologized.”
The Hill has reached out to McCarthy for comment on Omar’s remarks.
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