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Hoyer defends Tlaib Holocaust remarks after criticism from GOP

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Congressional leaders present Biden, Harris with flags flown during inauguration LIVE INAUGURATION COVERAGE: Biden signs executive orders; press secretary holds first briefing MORE (D-Md.) is asking for an apology from the Republicans hammering Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden and the new Congress must protect Americans from utility shutoffs Overnight Energy: EPA rule exempts many polluting industries from future air regulations | Ex-Michigan governor to be charged over Flint water crisis: report | Officials ousted from White House after papers casting doubt on climate science Ex-Michigan governor to be charged over Flint water crisis: report MORE (D-Mich.) over her recent comments on Israel and the Holocaust.
 
 
"If you read Rep. Tlaib’s comments, it is clear that President Trump and Congressional Republicans are taking them out of context," Hoyer said in a brief email. "They must stop, and they owe her an apology."
 
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Several hours later, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP operative installed as NSA top lawyer placed on administrative leave: reports Budowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Biden taps career civil servants to acting posts at State, USAID, UN MORE (D-Calif.) also weighed in, amplifying the call for Trump and Tlaib's GOP critics to apologize. 
 
"Republicans’ desperate attempts to smear @RepRashida & misrepresent her comments are outrageous," Pelosi tweeted. "President @realDonaldTrump & House GOP should apologize to Rep. Tlaib & the American people for their gross misrepresentations."
 
At issue is a recent interview Tlaib, one of two Muslim women in Congress, gave to Yahoo News’s “Skullduggery” podcast, in which she lamented that many Palestinians lost their land and "human dignity" when Israel was created following World War II.
 
She went on to say that she also gets "a calming feeling" knowing that the geopolitical shake-up also sheltered Jews who suffered "horrific persecution," both in the Holocaust and throughout history.
 
"There’s always kind of a calming feeling, I tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people’s passports," she said in the interview, which aired Saturday. 
 
"And just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time," she continued. "And I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away, and it was forced on them."
 
Republicans wasted little time attacking Tlaib for comments they characterized as anti-Semitic.
 
 
"Democrat Rep. Tlaib is being slammed for her horrible and highly insensitive statement on the Holocaust," he tweeted. "She obviously has tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people. Can you imagine what would happen if I ever said what she said, and says?"
 
Tlaib has fought back, accusing the Republicans of skewing her words for political gain.
 
"Policing my words, twisting & turning them to ignite vile attacks on me will not work," she said. "All of you who are trying to silence me will fail miserably. I will never allow you to take my words out of context to push your racist and hateful agenda. The truth will always win."
 
Aside from Hoyer, a number of Tlaib's fellow Democrats are also rushing to her defense. The list includes Reps. Mark PocanMark William PocanWatch Out: Progressives are eyeing the last slice of the budget Former Progressive Caucus co-chair won't challenge Johnson in 2022 Congressional Progressive Caucus announces new leadership team MORE (D-Wis.), Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerInauguration parties lose the glitz and glamour in 2021 Four things Democrats should do in Biden's first 100 days House Republican wants restrictions on masks with messages MORE (D-Ore.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarDemocrats poised to impeach Trump again Pence opposes removing Trump under 25th Amendment: reports Pelosi vows to impeach Trump again — if Pence doesn't remove him first MORE (D-Minn.), another Muslim freshman who was embroiled in her own controversy surrounding comments deemed anti-Semitic earlier in the year.  
 
"This is another transparent attempt to sow division b/t minority communities and distract from your own criminal behavior by smearing a Muslim woman," Omar tweeted Monday, responding to Trump's criticism of Tlaib.
 
"No one should fall for it this time."