Trump: Omar's Apology Was 'Lame,' She Should Resign From Congress

February 12, 2019

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Rep. Ilhan Omar's (D., Minn.) apology for tweets widely condemned as anti-Semitic was "lame," saying she should consider resigning from Congress.

At the very least, Trump said Omar should lose her committee assignments, especially her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"One other thing I might want to say is that anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress, and Congressman Omar is terrible [for] what she said," Trump said. "And I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  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."

"At a minimum, she shouldn't be on committees, certainly that [the foreign affairs] committee," Trump added.

Omar came under fire on Sunday for comments suggesting Republicans' support for Israel is bought and paid for by AIPAC. The Washington Free Beacon reported:

Omar linked to a tweet by left-wing journalist Glenn Greenwald, who was criticizing House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) for threatening punishment against Omar and fellow anti-Israel Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.). She wrote, "It's all about the Benjamins baby" with musical notes, a reference to $100 bills with Benjamin Franklin's face on them.

Forward opinion editor Batya Ungar-Sargon criticized Omar for tweeting an "anti-Semitic trope" and said she'd love to know who is "paying American politicians to be pro-Israel." Omar responded, "AIPAC!", the name of the pro-Israel lobbying organization.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and her House Democratic leadership team released a statement calling Omar's comments "deeply offensive" and saying she should immediately apologize. "Anti-Semitism must be called out, confronted and condemned whenever it is encountered, without exception," the Democratic leaders said.

Numerous Democratic lawmakers released their own statements criticizing Omar. The first to respond was Rep. Max Rose (D., N.Y.), who is Jewish. He called her words "hateful and offensive."

Omar released a statement on Monday afternoon in which she "unequivocally apologized" for her comments. She also continued to criticize AIPAC in her apology.

"My intention is never to offend my constituents or 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," she said. "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."

Minnesota's largest newspaper called Omar out on Monday evening, saying she has not shown "change or personal growth." The Star Tribune editorial board noted Omar's latest tweet controversy came less than a month after it criticized her for spreading conspiracy theories about Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.). Omar was also widely criticized for a 2012 tweet in which she claimed Israel had "hypnotized the world" while doing "evil." After defending the tweet for months, she ultimately acknowledged in January it was "offensive."