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

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyDemocrat who opposed Trump, Clinton impeachment inquiries faces big test CNN Pelosi town hall finishes third in cable news ratings race, draws 1.6M Economy adds 266K jobs in November, blowing past expectations 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 TlaibThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — GOP, Democrats square off at final impeachment hearing Live coverage: Democrats, Republicans seek to win PR battle in final House impeachment hearing Sanders, Omar to hit campaign trail in New Hampshire MORE (D-Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSanders, Omar to hit campaign trail in New Hampshire House approves two-state resolution in implicit rebuke of Trump Al Green calls for including Trump's 'racism' in impeachment articles 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."

ADVERTISEMENT

"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 TrumpLawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space-Force deal House Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday Houston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence 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.