House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is demanding an end to the smears against her colleague Rep. Rashida Talib (D-Mich.) by Republicans and the president, whom the speaker believes took the freshman representative’s words out of context.
“Republicans’ desperate attempts to smear @RepRashida & misrepresent her comments are outrageous,” Pelosi tweeted Monday. “President @realDonaldTrump & House GOP should apologize to Rep. Tlaib & the American people for their gross misrepresentations.”
Republicans’ desperate attempts to smear @RepRashida & misrepresent her comments are outrageous. President @realDonaldTrump & House GOP should apologize to Rep. Tlaib & the American people for their gross misrepresentations.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 13, 2019
Tlaib made comments on the Holocaust in a Sunday interview where she talked about the effort to make Israel a safe place for Jews following the tragedy. Her long, roundabout sentence explaining her view confounded some Republicans, including President Donald Trump.
Although a look at her comments shows Tlaib was praising Israel, Trump interpreted just the opposite and said Tlaib “obviously has tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people.”
Democrat Rep. Tlaib is being slammed for her horrible and highly insensitive statement on the Holocaust. She obviously has tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people. Can you imagine what would happen if I ever said what she said, and says?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2019
Here is Tlaib’s full quote from the Sunday interview:
“There’s, you know, there’s a 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, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence, in many ways, had been wiped out … in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time.
“… I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that [safe haven] in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away and it was forced on them, and so when I think about one-state, I think about the fact that why can’t we do it in a better way? … Why can’t we all be free and safe together?”
Critics, who have been dubbing Tlaib an anti-Semite for her pro-Palestinian views, focused in on the very beginning of her statement and often ignored the rest. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) cut out over 50 words in Tlaib’s sentence and added a period after the word “Holocaust,” making it appear as though the congresswoman was praising the Holocaust.
Here’s @RepRashida direct quote, “There’s a calming feeling I always tell folks when I think of the Holocaust.” And her “history” of what happened after is a fantasy based on lies spread to delegitimize the state of Israel. https://t.co/5akpUSApIE
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) May 13, 2019
This was after Tlaib’s office clarified the congresswoman’s views.
“Rep. Tlaib said thinking about this effort to provide a safe haven for people fleeing persecution brought calm to Rep. Tlaib because her ancestors were involved in helping those tragically impacted by the Holocaust,” they said in a statement.
“The Congresswoman did not in any way praise the Holocaust, nor did she say the Holocaust itself brought a calming feeling to her. In fact, she repeatedly called the Holocaust a tragedy and a horrific persecution of Jewish people.”
This view was recognized by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) who slammed the president for taking Tlaib’s words out of context.
Mr. President: Stop dividing the American people up by their religion, their race or their country of origin–and stop your ugly attacks against Muslim women in Congress. You are taking Rep. @RashidaTlaib's comments out of context and should apologize. https://t.co/QlYNn46zXQ
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 13, 2019
House Majority Leader Stoney Hoyer (D-Md.) also called for an apology.
If you read Rep. @RashidaTlaib’s comments, it is clear that President Trump and Congressional Republicans are taking them out of context. They must stop, and they owe her an apology.
— Steny Hoyer (@LeaderHoyer) May 13, 2019
Despite cries for apologies, the president and other GOP members who have criticized her are not backing down.
“I am deeply sorry for our nation that the House Democratic leadership continues to enable the anti-Semitism in their ranks,” Cheney tweeted.