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Omar compares Obama to Trump: Both back bad policies, one is just 'more polished'

Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarMeet the three Democrats who could lead foreign affairs in the House Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far GOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' MORE (D-Minn.), a progressive firebrand currently the focus of controversy over comments she made about Israel, appeared to rebuke former President Obama in a new interview, comparing him to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump MORE, only "more polished." 

Omar slammed Obama’s “hope and change” message as more smoke and mirrors than anything concrete, saying, like Trump, his immigration policies involved detaining children at the southern border and he made heavy use of lethal drone strikes overseas.

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“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. “And that’s not what we should be looking for anymore. We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.”

In a tweet Friday tweet, however, Omar said that her remarks had been "distorted" and that she is definitely a "fan" of Obama's.

Omar, a freshman lawmaker, has been beset by controversy over statements she made regarding Israel and pro-Israel groups that many interpreted as anti-Semitic. A House resolution in response to her comments divided the Democratic caucus, with some members seeking to call her out by name while others successfully pushed for language condemning a wide range of discrimination. 

The resolution, passed Thursday, did not name Omar. It made several mentions of anti-Semitism, but also rebuked other forms of hate and prejudice, such as Islamophobia.

—Updated at 6:09 p.m.