McCarthy says Omar, Tlaib should have joined earlier trip to Israel

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyRepublicans suffer whiplash from Trump's erratic week Steve King defends remarks on rape, incest Omar says US should reconsider aid to Israel MORE (R-Calif.) responded to the news Thursday that the Israeli government has decided to bar a pair of freshman Democrats from visiting the country by saying that the two members of "the Squad" should have joined a large congressional trip earlier this month.

In a tweet, McCarthy wrote that it's "unfortunate" that Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibTlaib says Trump 'scared' of 'Squad' Michigan city declines to renew contract with ICE to hold detainees Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota MORE (D-Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTlaib says Trump 'scared' of 'Squad' Trump to return to North Carolina to stump for special election candidate Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota MORE (D-Minn.) "declined to join this opportunity to hear from all sides."

The reaction echoes remarks the GOP leader made the night before on Fox News, when he said that "there’s a number of Democrats that still stand with Israel. But this new socialist Democrat group ... has a much different belief."


"They should’ve come with their colleagues," McCarthy told Fox News's Bret Baier on Wednesday. "They should’ve come together where they can have a meeting with Israel, with the Palestinian Authority, with those who were running against [Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE] at the same time."

Omar and Tlaib, both of whom have criticized Israel in the past, had planned to make their own trip to both Israeli and Palestinian territories on Sunday, but, after urging from President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham: America must 'accept the pain that comes in standing up to China' Weld 'thrilled' more Republicans are challenging Trump New data challenges Trump's economic narrative MORE, Nentanyahu's government said Thursday they would not be permitted to do so.

The decision was met with swift pushback from Democrats and even some Republicans, with Omar calling it "an insult to democratic values and a chilling response to a visit by government from an allied nation."

Tlaib, whose grandmother lives in the West Bank, can file a humanitarian request to visit them there, Netanyahu said. In a tweet, Tlaib called Israel's decision to bar the two lawmakers a "sign of weakness."

“The two-member congressional visitation plan shows that their intent is to hurt Israel and increase its unrest against it,” Netanyahu said Thursday.