Omar, Boebert Argue Apology in a Tense Call and Afterward

Members' conversation about anti-Muslim story doesn't settle the issue
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2021 4:17 PM CST
Omar, Boebert Argue Apology in a Tense Call and Afterward
Rep. Lauren Boebert, shown in July, called Rep. Ilhan Omar on Monday at the House minority leader's request.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

After Rep. Lauren Boebert told an anecdote about mistaking Rep. Ilhan Omar for a terrorist, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy suggested the Colorado Republican call the offended Democrat and just talk it out. Boebert and Omar talked Monday, but the conversation didn't defuse the situation, the Hill reports. Afterward, Omar issued a statement saying she took the call "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." There was no apology, Omar said.

Instead, she said, Boebert "doubled down on her rhetoric." Boebert released a statement and video saying, essentially, "No, you should apologize"—for what Boebert called Omar's "anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-police rhetoric." Boebert's statement said she told Omar that she doesn't want "anything I say to offend someone's religion," and said she'd expressed that publicly. "She said that she still wanted a public apology," Boebert said, "because what I had done wasn't good enough. The two lawmakers agreed that the call was tense and that Omar eventually hung up.

That leaves McCarthy with an unsettled issue, two weeks after the House censured Republican Rep. Paul Gosar for tweeting an animated video that showed him killing Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Democratic leaders issued a condemnation of Boebert's action last week, but Omar's staff wants Republican leaders to do something about what it called "Islamophobic hate speech." Boebert has called Omar, one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, a "terrorist sympathizer," "honorary member of Hamas," and a member of the "Jihad squad," per Politico. Some Democrats are wary of being caught up in back-and-forth over offensive GOP statements when McCarthy won't act anyway. (More Lauren Boebert stories.)

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