Congress

Progressives say Trump has no moral ground to call for Omar’s resignation

Congressional Progressive Caucus points out president referring to neo-Nazis as ‘very fine people’ after Charlottesville

Republicans have pushed for Rep. Ilhan Omar to relinquish her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Progressives mocked President Donald Trump after his call for Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar to resign, saying that the president has no moral authority to do so given his record on issues of hate and bigotry.

“As a candidate and now as president, Donald Trump has consistently and unapologetically trafficked in white nationalism, Islamaphobia, sexism and racism,” leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus said in a statement Tuesday night. “Americans of all political stripes must reject this transparently cynical effort by President Trump and Congressional Republicans to stifle and intimidate” diverse voices.

Caucus chairs Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington, and Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wisconsin, said Trump has no authority on issues of anti-Semitism especially given his equivocating statement after a deadly rally in 2017 of neo-Nazis chanting “Jews will not replace us” in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“Let us not forget this president referred to neo-Nazis as ‘very fine people,’” they said.

Trump alleged Omar has anti-Israeli views “deep seeded in her heart” Tuesday and labeled her Monday apology “lame.”

Watch: Trump calls on Rep. Ilhan Omar to resign

Republicans have also pushed for Omar to relinquish her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The committee is slated to debate the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, Democrats say, and Omar advocates scaling back U.S. military operations.

The statement by the House progressives is a rare show of support for Omar from her Congressional colleagues amid an onslaught of criticism in recent days. 

Omar received an avalanche of condemnation from members of Congress Monday, including many Democrats, for her tweet quoting the P. Diddy lyric, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” to ascribe Republicans’ fierce opposition to boycotting Israel to the power of the lobbying group the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

AIPAC is a nonprofit organization that lobbies to strengthen Israel’s relationship with the United States; AIPAC spends millions annually on lobbying efforts, and the group’s clout inside the Beltway is demonstrated by its record of legislative successes. 

As one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, Omar has faced Islamaphobic bigotry in her first few weeks in office and has repeatedly denounced discrimination against Jews. 

But some journalists and members of Congress criticized her tweet as relying on the anti-Semitic trope that politicians are swayed by “Jewish money.”

House Democratic leadership, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, released a statement Monday condemning Omar’s tweet as “deeply offensive,” amplifying the critique that it invoked an anti-Semitic trope.

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