On Tuesday, President Donald Trump went after freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, saying that she should “either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”
Omar had previously posted an anti-Semitic tweet, suggesting that the Jewish lobby was buying influence in Congress, which she later apologized for, but Trump called the apology “lame.”
But the 37-year-old Congresswoman, who represents Minnesota, wasn’t in any hurry to get lectured by the president. On Wednesday morning, she tweeted to Trump, “You have trafficked in hate your whole life — against Jews, Muslims, Indigenous, immigrants, black people and more.”
You have trafficked in hate your whole life—against Jews, Muslims, Indigenous, immigrants, black people and more. I learned from people impacted by my words. When will you? https://t.co/EqqTyjkiNE
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 13, 2019
The initial criticism of Omar’s tweet was immediate and bipartisan. Democratic leadership called her out by name in a statement and demanded an apology. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called for her to be removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee.
But, while Democrats were quick to condemn her remarks, there’s no indication that Omar will lose a committee assignment over the tweet. But she’s one of a crew of firebrand young progressives, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, who make news every time they tweet and have become targets for Republicans hungry to paint Democrats as extreme.
Republicans face a slippery slope going after Omar for anti-Semitism as there have been a few ugly moments in their own party. Most notable is Rep. Steve King of Iowa who has a long history of bigoted tweets and remarks and was removed from his committee assignments this year after telling the New York Times that he doesn’t see why the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” are offensive.
In 2018, Rep. Matt Gaetz — who has become one of the loudest pro-Trump voices in the lower chamber — even brought a holocaust denier to the State of the Union. And though he was criticized for his choice of guest, Gaetz faced no consequences.