Congresswoman Omar swings back after Trump calls for resignation
U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar on Wednesday took to Twitter to respond to the U.S. president's call for her resignation for anti-Israel comments viewed by some as "anti-Semitic".
"You have trafficked in hate your whole life—against Jews, Muslims, Indigenous, immigrants, black people and more. I learned from people impacted by my words. When will you?" Omar responded to Donald Trump.
Omar, one of the first two Muslim women in Congress alongside Rashida Tlaib, has faced harsh criticism from Democrats and Republicans for comments she made Sunday, in which she said congressional support for Israel is firmly rooted in political donations from pro-Israel groups, most prominently the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.
While the congresswoman's tweet was directed at Israel, politicians called it anti-Semitic.
Trump on Wednesday said Omar "should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee."
The freshman lawmaker later apologized for the comments after facing pressure from Democratic leaders, most notably House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, however, in her apology she affirmed the "problematic role of lobbyists" in U.S. politics.
The president responded to her apology by calling it "lame", and Vice President Mike Pence said Omar's "tweets were a disgrace & her apology was inadequate."
While facing criticism from many in Washington, Omar, however, did receive some support from a number of progressive Democrats. The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), a group affiliated with the Democratic Party, wrote a statement defending the Muslim congresswoman's against Trump's call for her resignation.
"President Trump's remarks calling for Representative Ilhan Omar's resignation are disgraceful and, unfortunately, unsurprising. As a candidate and now president, Donald Trump has consistently and unapologetically trafficked in white nationalism, Islamophobia, sexism, and racism. Let us not forget that this president referred to violent neo-Nazis as 'very fine people'," the statement read.
Mark Pocan and Pramila Jayapal, co-chairs of the CPC, affirmed their support for Omar and said as "a Somali American immigrant of Muslim faith, Representative Omar plays a vital role in the most diverse Congress in history. Americans of all political stripes must reject this transparently cynical effort by President Trump and Congressional Republicans to stifle and intimidate voices such as hers."