Ilhan Omar Praises Trump's Coronavirus Leadership

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March 19, 2020

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) unexpectedly praised President Donald Trump's leadership and policy responses to the coronavirus pandemic Wednesday night.

Quoting the Intercept journalist Lee Fang's tweet about the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic, Omar said in her own tweet, "Politics aside, this is incredible and the right response in this critical time."

Fang's tweet said that the Trump administration is, among other actions, "suspending mortgage foreclosures, demanding cash payments to Americans," and "now invoking the Defense Production Act to force private firms to produce needed supplies."

Omar expressed admiration for the president and others leading the effort to combat the spread of coronavirus, saying that "unprecedented times require unprecedented leadership."

She also expressed confidence in America's ability to overcome the crisis, adding that "politics [should never] get in the way of good policy."

Omar's praise for Trump's executive action comes after years of the two politicians publicly feuding, with Omar frequently going after Trump in personal terms. She has called Trump a "fascist" and a "racist" and has frequently criticized his immigration policies. She has also said Trump's verbal attacks, particularly at rallies, have put her in danger.

Trump has criticized the freshman representative during her time as one of Congress's most far-left members. At rallies and on Twitter, he has called her an "America-hating socialist," and in February 2019, he called on her to resign from Congress after an anti-Semitic comment drew strong criticism. Omar had said U.S. lawmakers' support for Israel was "all about the Benjamins, baby," spreading the anti-Semitic canard that Jewish money controls U.S. foreign policy. She later said, "I unequivocally apologize" in a statement, even though she continued to blame pro-Israel lobbyists for the controversy, leading Trump to call her apology "lame."

Trump signed the latest coronavirus response bill Wednesday night after the Senate passed it with a 90-8 vote.