Omar: Impeachment of 'Dictator' Trump Is Inevitable

Ilhan Omar
Ilhan Omar / Getty Images
February 27, 2019

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) said impeachment of President Donald Trump is "inevitable," adding in an interview published Wednesday he has "the markings of a dictator."

In a January interview with liberal magazine Rolling Stone, the freshman congresswoman and staunch White House opponent said the prospect of removing Trump was terrifying because Vice President Mike Pence would replace him.

"I believe that impeachment is inevitable. It also is a terrifying notion," she said. "Pence is an ideologue, and the ideology he holds is more terrifying to me and my constituents. And we have not had a full impeachment that removes the president from office. Nations struggle any time [they] overthrow a dictator, and Trump really has the markings of a dictator."

Omar has signed a petition to impeach Trump, along with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), who said last month Democrats were going to "impeach the motherf–er." Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) has been more hesitant than her more enthusiastic caucus members about going down that road.

Omar has attracted attention as one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, Tlaib being the other, in addition to drawing scrutiny for a string of controversies before and since taking office.

She was forced to apologize this month after saying pro-Israel politicians are paid off by the lobbying group AIPAC, another in a line of anti-Semitic controversies for her that also includes newfound support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and once saying the Jewish state "hypnotized" the world.

Trump said her apology was "lame" and suggested she should resign or at least be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Rolling Stone noted she ignored almost all the follow-up questions the magazine emailed her in the wake of the AIPAC controversy and also denied its request for a follow-up interview. The only one she answered was about what she "still [has] to learn about the Jewish faith or Jewish culture to avoid repeating such mistakes?"

"I know what intolerance looks like and one thing that has been painful about this whole process is knowing that I used language that caused hurt to others," she said. "My hope is that as much as I hold others accountable and help them learn, that people will also hold me accountable. I work every day to make sure we are living in a more tolerant world. And I hope people understand how deeply I care about creating that world.

"That’s why one of the first things I did as a member-elect was to speak about the rise of anti-Semitism—and one of the first bills I cosponsored as a new member was legislation to elevate the position of a Special Envoy to combat anti-Semitism. I’m an organizer at heart. I’ve given an earful to others who traffic in bigotry, so I need to listen and learn. Listening and working with communities directly impacted is what will make me a better public servant. Speaker Pelosi has been a mentor throughout this whole process and I look forward to working with her in furthering the people’s agenda."

Omar appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone this month alongside Pelosi and fellow freshman Reps. Jahana Hayes (D., Conn.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.).