Rep. Ilhan Omar: Trump and GOP Saw Freshmen Coming ‘And So They Shut Down the Government’

By Patrick Goodenough | February 1, 2019 | 1:00 AM EST

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., appears on The Daily Show on Thursday, January 31, 2019 (Screen capture)

( – Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Thursday portrayed the recent partial federal government shutdown as a preemptive response by President Trump and the Republican Party to the arrival in Congress of outspoken freshmen like herself and Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

“Trump and … the Republicans could see us coming and so they shut down the government,” she told The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah.

Omar was responding after Noah suggested that “a lot of the old guard, especially on the right,” had been “terrified” of the likes of Omar, Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib entering Congress.

“Everyone’s just going like, ‘They’re troublemakers, they’re here to cause chaos,’” he said. “Are you there to cause chaos?”

“I mean, they could hear us coming from afar,” Omar replied.

“All of us were ready – and are still ready – to throw down on behalf of the American people,” she continued.

The progressive group, she added, were “ready to throw down and make sure that we’re taking care of healthcare once and for all,” as well as getting rid of for-profit prisons, and canceling out student debt.

“And so, Trump and um – and the Republicans could see us coming and so they shut down the government.”

Omar went on to suggest that, in countries like those she and Noah hail from – Somalia and South Africa – a president or prime minister who shut down the government would probably face a vote of no confidence.

“He would no longer be president,” she said. “We’re not holding him accountable for shutting down the government for 35 days – and getting nothing.”

The government shutdown began on December 22, over a disagreement relating to border security. Democrats refused to support an appropriation bill that included $5.7 billion to build a wall along the southwest border.

Omar and her fellow freshmen entered the House on January 3.

Patrick Goodenough
Patrick Goodenough
Spencer Journalism Fellow

Sponsored Links