GOP senator calls Omar's apology 'entirely appropriate'

Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordOvernight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran Senators urge Trump to sanction Turkey for accepting Russian missile shipment Acosta on shaky ground as GOP support wavers MORE (R-Okla.) said early Wednesday that Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarMerkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump ESPN host Dan Le Batard tears into Trump, as well as his own network, for 'cowardly' no-politics policy Biden leads, Warren and Sanders tied for second in new poll MORE's (D-Minn.) apology for comments that have been criticized as anti-Semitic was "entirely appropriate," even as President TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE and others have said she did not go far enough.

"I do accept Rep. Omar’s apology and I think it’s entirely appropriate," Lankford said on CNN's "New Day."

"She’s a brand-new, freshman representative," he continued. "Sometimes you get out there and you say things and then you try to correct it. For any of us that are on television, like right now, you get questions, you make responses or you put out a tweet trying to be funny or to try to press a point, and sometimes you go over the line."


Omar apologized on Monday for comments the previous day suggesting that U.S. support for Israel is the result of money flowing from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, an influential lobbying group. In her apology, she said her “intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole.”

Her statement came after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDHS chief to Pelosi: Emergency border funding 'has already had an impact' The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants Trump faces new hit on deficit MORE (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders had called on her to apologize for using "anti-Semitic tropes."

Republicans have seized on Omar's comments and called on Democratic leaders to remove her from her post on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, though House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThe House Democrats who voted to kill impeachment effort Overnight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border House votes to block Trump's Saudi arms sale MORE (D-Md.) indicated that will not happen.

Some Republicans have continued to rail against Omar despite her apology. Trump on Tuesday called on the Minnesota Democrat to resign either from Congress or from her committee post, and Vice President Pence called her apology "inadequate."