Minnesota senator slams West Virginia GOP over display comparing Omar to terrorists

Minnesota senator slams West Virginia GOP over display comparing Omar to terrorists
© Greg Nash

Sen. Tina SmithTina Flint SmithDemocrats ask Fed to probe Trump's Deutsche Bank ties Democrats ask Fed to probe Trump's Deutsche Bank ties Democrats push election security legislation after Mueller warning MORE (D-Minn.) defended her fellow Minnesota lawmaker Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarHillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data Hillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data House Democrats question DHS over using facial recognition tech on US citizens MORE (D) on Saturday after the congresswoman was the subject of a display in the West Virginia statehouse comparing her to terrorists.

A poster displayed by West Virginia Republicans this week caused a physical confrontation in the state's legislature on Friday, according to NBC News, due to its message referring to Omar as "the proof [that the U.S. has] forgotten" about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Smith fired back, calling the language and imagery in the poster "hateful and violent" while noting her own disapproval of Omar's recent remarks concerning special interest groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which advocates for closer U.S.-Israel relations.

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"I disapprove some of Rep. Omar’s recent statements, but we need to strongly repudiate this hateful and violent language," Smith tweeted.

Omar again came under fire this week for comments about AIPAC after she told attendees at an event in Washington that she was questioning "the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country."

Her comments were condemned by Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOvernight Defense: Latest on House defense bill markup | Air Force One, low-yield nukes spark debate | House Dems introduce resolutions blocking Saudi arms sales | Trump to send 1,000 troops to Poland Overnight Defense: Latest on House defense bill markup | Air Force One, low-yield nukes spark debate | House Dems introduce resolutions blocking Saudi arms sales | Trump to send 1,000 troops to Poland Bipartisan House bill seeks to punish Burma for genocide MORE (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, on which Omar holds a seat.

“I welcome debate in Congress based on the merits of policy, but it’s unacceptable and deeply offensive to call into question the loyalty of fellow American citizens because of their political views, including support for the U.S.-Israel relationship,” Engel said in a statement.

“Her comments were outrageous and deeply hurtful, and I ask that she retract them, apologize, and commit to making her case on policy issues without resorting to attacks that have no place in the Foreign Affairs Committee or the House of Representatives.”