Kevin McCarthy’s statement on Lauren Boebert does not condemn her remarks

House Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy’s new statement on Republican Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert does not condemn her remarks.

In a video circulating online this week, Boebert mentioned Democratic Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, one of three Muslim members of Congress, as a member of the “Jihad Squad.” Boebert made the comment while telling a story that allegedly portrayed Omar as a potential suicide bomber in the Capitol building.

“I spoke with Congressman Lauren Boebert today,” McCarthy said in a statement released Saturday. “She has apologized for what she said and she has contacted Congressman Omar to meet next week.”

“I talked to [Democratic House Majority Leader Steny] Hoyer today to facilitate that meeting so that Congress can come back to talk to each other and work on the challenges facing the American people, “McCarthy added.

McCarthy statement Boebert Islamophobia Muslims Ilhan Omar
House Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy’s statement about Republican Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert’s Islamophobic comments against Muslims does not condemn Boebert’s remarks. In this photo, McCarthy speaks at a press conference with House Republicans about US-Mexico border policy outside the US Capitol on March 11, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer / Getty

McCarthy’s statement did not call Boebert’s remarks “wrong or disgusting or racist or Islamophobic,” MSNBC host Yasmin Vossoughian noted in a Saturday broadcast.

On Friday, Boebert apologized to the Muslim community for her comments.

“I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I insulted with my comment about Representative Omar,” Boebert wrote in a tweet, adding that her office had contacted Omar’s office to speak to her directly.

Boebert’s tweet marked one of the few times she’s ever apologized for remarks against a Democratic lawmaker. She had previously referred to Omar as a member of the “jihad squad”. She has also claimed, without evidence, that Omar is in an incestuous marriage with his brother.

In response to Boebert’s remarks, Omar replied, “Actually, this nonsense looks down when she sees me at the Capitol, this whole story is fabricated. Sad that she thinks bigotry gets her influence.”

On Friday, Omar said: “Saying I’m a suicide bomber is no joke … Normalizing this bigotry is endangering not only my life but the lives of all Muslims. Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress.”

She also asked McCarthy and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to intervene in Boebert’s comments. Pelosi and other Democratic congressmen condemned the remarks.

Commentators and Muslim advocates have also called on Boebert to be criticized for his statements.

On Saturday, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) said Boebert’s comments could lead to death threats against Omar.

“We believe this rhetoric perpetuates actions that could undoubtedly inspire more death threats against Representative Omar and her family. That is unacceptable,” CBC Presidential Representative Joyce Beatty said in the statement.

Newsweek contacted McCarthy for a comment.

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