'You have trafficked in hate your whole life': Rep. Omar fires back at Trump after he calls her apology 'lame'

After Rep. Ilhan Omar was widely criticized for some tweets that were widely attacked as anti-Semitic, the Minnesota congresswoman apologized and said that she did so “unequivocally.” Regardless, President Donald Trump has called for her resignation, and Omar has responded by asserting that Trump is the last person who should be questioning the sincerity of her apology.

Early Wednesday morning, February 13, the 37-year-old Omar visited Twitter and posted, “Hi @realDonaldTrump- You have trafficked in hate your whole life—against Jews, Muslims, Indigenous, immigrants, black people and more. I learned from people impacted by my words. When will you?”

The controversy erupted after Omar posted some tweets criticizing the Israeli government and both Democrats and Republicans denounced some of her rhetoric as anti-Semitic. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was forceful in her response, asserting, “Legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate that the United States and Israel share, but Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive. We condemn these remarks, and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments.”

Omar apologized, tweeting, “Anti-Semitism is real, and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes. My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect other people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.”

Trump, however, was not satisfied, describing her apology as “lame” and saying she should step down from the House or at least not be able to serve on committees.

Trump’s critics have been quick to respond that the president has resorted to anti-Semitic rhetoric himself when attacking Democrat George Soros. And Trump’s criticism of Omar is also being called hypocritical in light of the fact that when Barack Obama was president, he embraced the racist birther conspiracy theory (which claimed that Obama was really born in Kenya rather than Hawaii and wasn’t really a U.S. citizen).

Omar, who was born in Somalia in 1981 but has lived in the U.S. since her early teens, was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016. After U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison announced that he would not be seeking reelection in the 2018 midterms, Omar ran for his seat in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District and won the general election in November.


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