U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert, R-Colorado, flanked by other members of the House Freedom Caucus, speaks during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol on July 29. (Elizabeth Frantz, Reuters)
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WASHINGTON – Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert apologized Friday after suggesting a Democratic colleague, Rep. Ilhan Omar, had been part of a “jihad team” on Capitol Hill.
“I apologize to everyone in the Muslim community I insulted with my comment about Representative Omar. I have reached out to her office to speak to her directly. There are lots of political differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction,” he said. Boebert on Twitter.
Her apology came after a video surfaced on Twitter where she was speaking at an event in her home state of Colorado where she said she was about to step into an elevator at the Capitol when she saw a Capitol police officer run toward her.
“I see unrest all over his face and he reaches out and the door closes as if I can not open it like what is happening. I look to my left and there she is. Ilhan Omar. And I said: “Well, she does not have a backpack, we should be fine,” she said.
She said it “was not my first ‘jihad squad’ moment.”
Boebert is part of a group of Republican lawmakers who say they are loyal supporters of Trump, and who often attack their own congressional colleagues with slander and insults. She is in her first term.
Omar said on Twitter that the event described by Boebert in the video never took place and that “anti-Muslim bigotry is not fun and should not be normalized.”
“To say I’m a suicide bomber is no laughing matter,” Omar tweeted. She urged House Republican leader Kevin McCarty and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to take “appropriate action.”
In a statement, Pelosi and other senior Democratic leaders of the House said Boebert’s “repeated, ongoing and targeted Islamophobic comments and actions against another member of Congress, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, are both deeply offensive and worrying.”
“Leader McCarthy and the entire House Republican leadership’s repeated failure to condemn inflammatory and grandiose rhetoric from members of their conference is outrageous,” they said. “We urge the Republican leadership to address this priority with the congresswoman and to finally take real action to confront racism.”
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