Omar Sputters When Pressed to Defend Calling Graham 'Compromised,' Can't Provide Evidence

January 17, 2019

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) struggled to defend a tweet accusing Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) of being "compromised" on Thursday, saying the proof was in how he was acting but giving no evidence and eventually saying it was just her opinion.

CNN anchor Jim Sciutto, prefacing his question by saying "we need to ask you about this," read out her tweet and asked her to explain what she meant. Graham has been accused by some progressives of being blackmailed by the White House over being gay; Graham is a lifelong bachelor who is straight. The former fierce critic of President Donald Trump has aligned himself with the White House on some issues, he has also blasted Trump over his foreign policy.

Omar's answer spiraled into various theories about how he was compromised without giving any evidence.

"Over the last three years, we have seen many times where Senator Lindsey Graham has told us how dangerous this president could be if he was given the opportunity to be in the White House, and all of the sudden, he's made not only a 180-turnaround but a 360-turnaround, and so I am pretty sure there is something happening with him, whether it is something that has to do with his funding when it comes to running for office, whether it has something to do with the polling that they might have in his district [Graham represents a state, not a district] or whether it has to do with some sort of leadership within the Senate," Omar said. "He is somehow compromised to no longer stand up for the truth to make sure that he is fighting to protect the oath that he took in serving the American people."

"Based on what evidence? That's a remarkable comment to make about a sitting U.S. Senator," Sciutto said.

"The evidence really is present to us, is being presented to us in the way that he's behaving," she answered.

"But that's not evidence," co-host Poppy Harlow said. "That's your opinion, but now as a sitting member of Congress, you would have tweeted 'they got him on this.' Again, just based on what evidence, congresswoman?"

Omar said her tweet was "an opinion based on what I believe to be visible to me, and I'm pretty sure there are lots of Americans who agree [with] us."

Omar's tweet granbbed a lot of attention, exclaiming that Graham must be compromised.

Omar wasn't pressed further on the matter during the CNN interview.