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 urge Rick Perry not to roll back lightbulb efficiency rules Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Planned Parenthood charges into 2020 | PhRMA CEO warns against Pelosi drug pricing bill | Medicaid work requirements costing states millions Planned Parenthood issues first wave of 2020 House, Senate endorsements MORE (D-Minn.) defended her fellow Minnesota lawmaker Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarIlhan Omar raises .1 million in third quarter New California law bans school lunch debt shaming The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies Trump pushed for her ouster 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 EngelFury over Trump Syria decision grows Furious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria Democrats to offer resolution demanding Trump reverse Syria decision 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.”