Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) said she is "sorry that there are so many anti-Semitic members of the House Democratic caucus," when asked if she would apologize for criticism of Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.). The freshman congresswoman had stated that she gets a "calming feeling" when thinking about the Holocaust.
Tlaib came under fire after she told a Yahoo podcast that her Palestinian ancestors had died at the hands of Jews after creating a "safe haven" for them in Israel.
"It's kind of a calming feeling I always tell folks when I think of the Holocaust and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors, Palestinians, who lost their land and some lost their lives," Tlaib said. "All of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews."
Cheney responded during a Tuesday appearance on Fox News Channel's Fox and Friends, criticizing House Democratic leaders Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) for defending Tlaib against accusations that her remarks were revising historical accounts of Arabs massacring Jewish settlers in Israel.
Some Democrats have called on Republicans to apologize for their criticism of Tlaib's comments, which they claim were misconstrued. Fox's Steve Doocy asked Cheney, "are you going to apologize?"
"I'm sorry that there are so many anti-Semitic members of the House Democratic caucus," the House Republican Conference chair said in response.
"There is just no context in which it is okay to say that a calming feeling comes over you when you think about the Holocaust. It's sickening," Cheney said. "And then, of course, Representative Tlaib went on to talk about this view of history that is based on lies, exactly the kind of anti-Semitic lies that are spread to delegitimize the state of Israel. And, of course, the Palestinian leadership during World War II actually worked with Adolf Hitler. So it really has gone beyond the pale now with the leadership on the Democratic side in the House actually defending this kind of thing."
Cheney criticized Tlaib further for a Monday night appearance on NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers, in which Tlaib said the next time she referenced the Holocaust, she would "talk like a fourth grader because maybe the racist idiots would understand you better."
"I think most fourth graders know what the Holocaust was, and she apparently doesn't," Cheney said. "We have a situation today where those of us who are elected officials, and particularly elected officials in the House of Representatives where this anti-Semitism is rising within our body, have an obligation to stand up and to stop it."
Cheney referenced a Tuesday New York Post column which explained how Tlaib "distorted" the history of Israel and the Holocaust and compared Tlaib's comments to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's doctoral dissertation, which asserts that Palestinians are the real victims of the Holocaust. Cheney said it was unacceptable for anyone in Congress to defend comments like these.
"It just completely goes to delegitimize the notion that there were Jewish people in Israel prior for thousands of years," she said. "But it's absolutely despicable and it's got to stop."