Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) hung up on Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) after the Colorado Republican refused to apologize to Omar for insinuating she’s a terrorist.
Boebert said she called Omar Monday to say she had “reflected” on her previous remarks, in which she joked to a crowd about Omar, who is Muslim, being a suicide bomber.
“I never want anything I say to offend someone’s religion, so I told her that,” Boebert said Monday in an Instagram video recapping the conservation.
Boebert said she essentially repeated the statement she’d posted on Twitter last week, which was an apology to the Muslim community ― not to Omar. And Boebert made it clear that Omar wouldn’t be getting an apology.
“She said she still wanted a public apology because what I had done wasn’t good enough,” Boebert said. “So I told Ilhan Omar she should make a public apology to the American people for her anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-police rhetoric. She continued to press and I continued to press back.”
During an event in her district last week, Boebert told an anecdote about a Capitol Police officer rushing toward an elevator that she had just boarded with her staff. She said she didn’t understand why the officer looked worried until she noticed Omar was there.
“I said, ‘Well, she doesn’t have a backpack, I should be fine,’” Boebert said, to applause from her constituents. “I said, ‘Oh look, the Jihad Squad decided to show up for work today.’”
In a statement, Omar essentially confirmed Boebert’s description of the call.
“Today, I graciously accepted a call from Rep. Lauren Boebert in the hope of receiving a direct apology for falsely claiming she met me in an elevator, suggesting I was a terrorist, and for a history of anti-Muslim hate,” Omar said. “Instead of apologizing for her Islamophobic comments and fabricated lies, Rep. Boebert refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments. She instead doubled down on her rhetoric and I decided to end the unproductive call.”
Omar repeated her call for Boebert to face some sort of sanction from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), which is unlikely. Earlier this month, McCarthy refused to back a censure resolution against Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) after the far-right Republican posted a cartoon video of himself killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
McCarthy is afraid to go against even the most extreme members of his party because doing so could put him at odds with ex-president Donald Trump. Without Trump’s backing, McCarthy would have a hard time becoming speaker of the House if Republicans win control in the 2022 midterms.
In her remarks at the event in Colorado, Boebert said of Omar that “it’s just her staffers on Twitter that talk for her,” but Omar herself told HuffPost earlier this month what she thinks of Boebert and the other right-wing Republicans who routinely target her.
“They’re just really angry, sad people and you know I pray for them to find joy,” Omar said. “I pray for them to find God. I pray for them to find peace.”