Entertainment

Donald Trump backs Lauren Boebert and says Ilhan Omar should apologize for ‘marrying her brother’


Former President Trump poured fuel on a blazing row over Islamophobia in the Republican Party on Tuesday, demanding that the progressive Democrat Ilhan Omar apologize for ‘marrying her brother’ and committing ‘immigration fraud.’

It comes amid an ugly series of jokes made by Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert suggesting that Somali-born Omar was a terrorist. 

Mainstream Republicans fear fringe figures such as Boebert will turn off voters while party leaders take no action for fear of upsetting Trump.

The former president made clear where his loyalties lay with a statement that reheated a conspiracy theory that Omar married her brother to help him gain American citizenship.

‘Congresswoman Ilhan Omar should apologize for marrying her brother, committing large-scale immigration and election fraud, wishing death to Israel, and for essentially abandoning her former country, which doesn’t even have a government – exactly what she’d like to see for the United States,’ he said.

Omar, a Muslim, denied the rumor about marrying her brother as ‘false and ridiculous’ when it surfaced during a 2016 run for office. 

Trump’s intervention adds another layer to a controversy that has piled pressure on Republican leaders to clean up its fringe elements.

Two House members have this year been stripped of their committee assignments for their behavior.

Former President Trump pour fuel on an already blazing row over Islamophobia in the Republican Party, accusing Somali-born Rep Ihan Omar of marrying her brother, committing immigration fraud and ‘wishing death to Israel’

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Somali-born Muslim

Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert

Omar (l) hung up on Rep. Lauren Boebert on Monday during a phone call when the two lawmakers demanded apologies of each other. Last week it emerged that Boebert had made jokes about Omar being a terrorist. A second video of similar comments emerged on Tuesday

Omar has frequently faced questions about her private life and previously set out a timeline to explain her relationships. In it she says she applied for a marriage license with Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi in 2002, but never finalized the application, before ending their relationship ‘in our faith tradition.’

In 2009, she legally married a British citizen Ahmed Nur Said Elmi. They obtained a religious divorce three years later, according to her timeline, and he returned to the U.K.

She then reconciled with Hirsi – the father of her children – and married him legally in January 2018, a month after she divorced Elmi. She has since divorced Hirsi.

Rumours that Elmi was her brother have circulated since 2016 when she ran for state senator, and Trump has previously broadcast them to a national audience.

This time, Trump waded into a row about how to deal with firebrand members of his party who delight in trolling opponents.

Video surfaced last week of Boebert making an Islamophobic joke about sharing an elevator with Omar.

‘”Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine,'” Boebert recalled saying to an aide,while addressing supporters during the holiday break.

‘And I said, “Oh look, the jihad squad decided to show up for work today.”‘

Omar said the incident never took place. And the comments quickly attracted widespread criticism and calls for punishment. 

Boebert tweeted on Thursday: ‘I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep Omar. I have reached out to her office to speak with her directly.

‘There are plenty of policy differences to focus on without unnecessary distraction.’

They spoke by phone on Monday, but things quickly broke down. 

‘Instead of apologizing for her Islamophobic comments and fabricated lies, Rep. Boebert refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments,’ Omar said in a statement. 

‘She instead doubled down on her rhetoric and I decided to end the unproductive call. 

‘I believe in engaging with those we disagree with respectfully, but not when that disagreement is rooted in outright bigotry and hate.’ 

Boebert released a video message, saying the two had demanded apologies of each other in their phone call. 

‘I told Ilhan Omar that she should make a public apology to the American people for her anti-American, antisemitic anti-police rhetoric,’ she said in a video posted to Instagram.

‘She continued to press and I continued to press back and then representative Omar hung up on me.

‘Rejecting an apology and hanging up on someone is part of cancel culture 101.’

Earlier on Tuesday, a second video emerged of Boebert making a similar joke, this time at a Staten Island, New York Conservative Party dinner, in September.

‘One of my staffers, on his first day with me, got into an elevator in the Capitol. And in that elevator, we were joined by Ilhan Omar,’ Boebert told the audience.

‘Well, it was just us three in there and I looked over and I said, “Well, lookey there, it’s the Jihad Squad.’

Boebert smiled as the room broke into laughter and applause.

She continued: ‘I do have to say she doesn’t have a backpack, she wasn’t dropping it and running so we’re good.’ 

It comes after Republican leaders were accused of putting party loyalty above tackling extremist behavior. 

Rep. Adam Kinzinger

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy

Rep. Adam Kinzinger accused House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of cozying up to an extremist fringe of Republicans as he seeks the speakership next year

Last week Kevin McCarthy, Republican leader in the House, promised to restore committee assignments to two lawmakers who were punished for the actions.

Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona was censured by the House for posting a doctored anime cartoon depicting him him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York – a leading female progressive in Congress. 

And earlier this year Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene lost her roles on the budget  and education committees for online comments supporting violence against Democratic officials before she took office. 

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of the few Republicans prepared to publicly criticize Trump and his loyalists, said McCarthy had decided to cozy up to extremists in order to please Trump – overlooking quieter voices. 

‘These aren’t the ones that you know, tweet all the time,’ he told MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ program. 

‘They’re not the ones that are going to you know, talk about Jewish space lasers and make, you know, crazy racist jokes just so that they can get more Twitter followers because they don’t take governance seriously. 

‘These are actually members of Congress that take governance seriously.’



Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button