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Pelosi Calls Omar a 'Valued Member of Our Caucus,' Seeks To Move Past Latest Controversy

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says House Democratic leadership did not rebuke Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) after she appeared to compare the actions of the U.S. to terrorist organizations.

During an interview on CNN, the California Democrat said, “We did not rebuke her. We acknowledged that she made a clarification.”

“Congresswoman Omar is a valued member of our caucus. She asked her questions of the secretary of state. Nobody criticized those… That was not of concern. Members did become concerned when the tweet that was put out equated the United States with the Taliban and Hamas,” she continued.

Finally, she said, “And then she clarified it. And we thanked her for clarification.”

Host Dana Bash asked, “So do you want people to just let it go?”

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“They can say whatever they want. But what I’m saying is end of subject. She clarified, we thanked her, end of subject. Whatever people go out and say is up to them,” Pelosi responded, adding, “But what happened is a reflection of the respect we have for our member when she made her questions at the hearing, but the disagreement that we have to equate the United States of America with Hamas and the Taliban.

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Omar came under fire last week after she appeared to compare the actions of U.S. to the Taliban or Hamas.

In a tweet, she wrote, “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”

Axios reports that Omar was referencing investigations by the International Criminal Court.

But her comments received backlash and a group of Jewish House Democrats asked the Minnesota Congresswoman for a clarification.

She released a statement that said, “To be clear: I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems.”

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On Thursday, Pelosi and members of the House Democratic leadership released a statement on Omar’s comments that read, “Legitimate criticism of the policies of both the United States and Israel is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate. And indeed, such criticism is essential to the strength and health of our democracies.”

“But drawing false equivalencies between democracies like the U.S. and Israel and groups that engage in terrorism like Hamas and the Taliban foments prejudice and undermines progress toward a future of peace and security for all,” it added.

However, the lawmakers said, “We welcome the clarification by Congresswoman Omar that there is no moral equivalency between the U.S. and Israel and Hamas and the Taliban.”

But the statement by leadership did not sit well with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) who tweeted, “Freedom of speech doesn’t exist for Muslim women in Congress. The benefit of the doubt doesn’t exist for Muslim women in Congress. House Democratic leadership should be ashamed of its relentless, exclusive tone policing of Congresswomen of color.”

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