Fresh off another scandal over comments that were deemed by many as anti-Semitic, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is taking more heat after she tried and failed on Friday to correct a reporter’s coverage of remarks she made that were critical of former President Barack Obama.
In an interview with Politico, the freshman congresswoman knocked the Obama administration for its own practice of holding immigrant children in detention centers and for increased drone strikes “around the world.”
According to Politico, she continued by explaining how the former president “operated within the same fundamentally broken framework as his Republican successor”:
“We can’t be only upset with Trump. … His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was. And that’s not what we should be looking for anymore. We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.”
After the article was published, Omar’s comments didn’t sit well with some on the left, as ABC News noted:
Barack Obama is the most popular Democrat out there. Omar is completely unrepresentative of the Dem Party on this score. #twitterisntreallifereadapoll
— (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) March 8, 2019
Ilhan Omar might be one of the first to deal with a serious primary challenge in her district. Can virtually guarantee her district has a very high opinion of Barack Obama. When you need allies most, this is pretty reckless https://t.co/QfniwBe2DK
— Marcus H. Johnson (@marcushjohnson) March 8, 2019
This is part of the larger effort on the left-of-the-left to rewrite Obama’s legacy and paint him as a ‘bad’ president. I get why they had to destroy Hillary with lies, as they wanted her to lose, but it’s still unclear to me why the far left is so hell-bent on destroying Obama. https://t.co/gPjMSNrlHz
— John Aravosis 🇺🇸 (@aravosis) March 8, 2019
She then lashed out on Twitter, writing in a since-deleted tweet, “Exhibit A of how reporters distort words. I’m an Obama fan! I was saying how Trump is different from Obama, and why we should focus on policy not politics. This is why I always tape my interviews.”
Unfortunately for her, the recording of the interview only appeared to confirm Politico’s reporting.
“You know, I will talk about the family separation or caging of kids, and then people will point out that this was wrong – I mean, this was Obama. And, you know, I’ll say something about the droning of countries around the world, and people will say that was Obama. And all of that is very true,” she can be heard saying in the tape.
Omar can then be heard repeating the exact quote Politico reported. Following her tweet, Politico reporter Tim Alberta defended his work.
“Exhibit A of how politicians use the media as a straw man to avoid owning what they said,” he tweeted. “Your tape…supports what I wrote 100%. So does my longer tape. It’s beyond dispute. Next time, a phone call from your office before the Twitter ambush would be appreciated.”
Exhibit A of how politicians use the media as a straw man to avoid owning what they said.
Your tape…supports what I wrote 100%. So does my longer tape. It's beyond dispute.
Next time, a phone call from your office before the Twitter ambush would be appreciated. https://t.co/eb2grgn5Cd
— Tim Alberta (@TimAlberta) March 8, 2019
Alberta wasn’t the only person to call Omar out:
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) March 8, 2019
i mean, it sounds like politico presented the quote perfectly in context — and it was an great quote so i'm not sure what the issue is https://t.co/ygAty1eCYc
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) March 8, 2019
It appears Omar may have realized her move had backfired, as her tweet criticizing Alberta is no longer live.