House

Hoyer defends Tlaib Holocaust remarks after criticism from GOP

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is asking for an apology from the Republicans hammering Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) over her recent comments on Israel and the Holocaust.
 
Hoyer said the Republicans, including President Trump, are twisting Tlaib’s words in criticizing them as anti-Semitic.
 
“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.”
 
{mosads}Several hours later, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (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.
 
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) called the remarks “sickening,” urging Democratic leaders to condemn the Michigan freshman. Rep. Steve Scalise (La.), the Republican whip, blasted Tlaib for “twisted and disgusting comments.” And Trump piled on Monday morning, accusing Tlaib of harboring “tremendous hatred” toward Israel.
 
“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 Pocan (D-Wis.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Ilhan Omar (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.”
 
 
Tags anti-Semitic Donald Trump Earl Blumenauer House Ilhan Omar Liz Cheney Mark Pocan Nancy Pelosi Rashida Tlaib Steny Hoyer Steve Scalise Tlaib comments

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