WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump called on Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., to resign from Congress for what he said was her anti-Semitism.
“It’s terrible what she said and I think she should either resign from Congress, or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday. “What she said is so deep-seated in her heart that her lame apology, and that’s what it was, it was lame and she didn’t mean a word of it, was just not appropriate. I think she should resign from Congress.”
Omar, in her first term in the Congress, said Sunday on Twitter that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee pays lawmakers to be pro-Israel. After condemnations from Republicans and Democrats, including the Democratic leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives, she said she “unequivocally” apologized after speaking with “Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes.”
Omar recently apologized for a 2012 tweet in which she accused Israel of “hypnotizing” the world, acknowledging that she had unwittingly echoed anti-Semitic themes.
Republicans are pressuring the House Democratic leadership to remove her from the influential Foreign Affairs Committee, noting that Republicans removed Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, from committees after he questioned why it was taboo to embrace white supremacy.
King also apologized, but Trump did not call for his resignation. King was an early backer of Trump’s candidacy.
Critics of the president noted that he has not apologized for various comments they described as bigoted. In the past he has drawn fire for calling for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” for saying a judge could not be impartial because of his Hispanic ethnicity, and, as recently as Saturday, mocking Democratic president candidate Elizabeth Warren’s claim to Native American ancestry by seeming to invoke the Trail of Tears.
“Mr. President, Congresswoman @IlhanMN apologized for using an anti-Semitic trope and demonstrated leadership,” Chelsea Clinton, whose mother, Hillary, lost to Trump in the 2016 election, said on Twitter. Chelsea Clinton was among the first Democrats to call on Omar to apologize.
“When have you ever apologized for your embrace of white nationalism and your exploitation and amplification of anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, racist, xenophobic, anti-LGBTQ hate?” Clinton asked Trump.