Trump on Rep. Ilhan Omar's Anti-Semitic Comments: 'I Think She Should Resign from Congress'

Michael W. Chapman | February 12, 2019 | 4:46pm EST
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Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)
(Getty Images)

( -- Given the anti-Semitic remarks of freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) -- comments her party's leadership has condemned -- President Donald Trump today said the congresswoman "should resign from Congress" or, at a minimum, resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress," said Trump prior to a Cabinet meeting at the White House. "And Congressman [Ilhan] Omar -- is terrible what she said."


"I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee," said the president.

"What she said is so deep-seated in her heart that her lame apology -- and that's what it was, it was lame, and she didn't mean a word of it -- was just not appropriate," said Trump.

"I think she should resign from Congress, frankly," he said.  "But at a minimum, she shouldn't be on committees, certainly that committee."

On Feb. 10, Omar, a Somali-born American Muslim, tweeted about critics of her attacks on Israel, "It's all about the Benjamins baby."  That same day, when asked who was "paying American politicians to be pro-Israel," Omar tweeted, "AIPAC!" in reference to the American-Israeli Polical Action Committee. 

Back in 2012, before she entered Congress, Omar had tweeted, "Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel."

A couple hours after Omar's Feb. 10 tweets,  House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney tweeted, "House Democrat leaders should condemn this anti-Semitism and immediately remove ⁦@IlhanMN⁩ from the House Foreign Affairs Committee"


On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was joined by other House Democratic leaders in issuing a statement titled, "Democratic Leadership Statement on Anti-Semitic Comments of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar." 

"Anti-Semitism must be called out, confronted and condemned whenever it is encountered, without exception," reads the statement. "We are and will always be strong supporters of Israel in Congress because we understand that our support is based on shared values and strategic interests. Legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate that the United States and Israel share. But Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive.

"We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments."

In an apparent attempt to apologize, Rep. Omar tweeted on Feb. 11, "Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes. My intention is never to offend my constituents of Jewish Americans as a whole. We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.

"At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry. It's gone on too long and we must be willing to address it." 

(Getty Images)
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