Nov 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Rep. Boebert apologizes for anti-Muslim comments directed at Rep. Omar

Rep. Lauren Boebert listens during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) apologized Friday for suggesting in a video that emerged this week that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) was mistaken for a terrorist while riding in an elevator in the U.S. Capitol.

Driving the news: Omar responded to the video when it first emerged, writing on Twitter: "Anti-Muslim bigotry isn’t funny & shouldn’t be normalized. Congress can’t be a place where hateful and dangerous Muslims tropes get no condemnation."

  • Omar on Friday also called for "appropriate action" from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to be taken against Boebert.
  • "Normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims. Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress," Omar wrote on Twitter.
  • Boebert on Friday apologized for her remarks, which were made in front of a group of supporters talking about what she called a "jihad squad" moment at the Capitol.
  • "I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar," Boebert wrote on Twitter. "I have reached out to her office to speak with her directly. There are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction."

What they're saying: Democratic leadership in a statement on Friday condemned Boebert's remarks.

  • "Congresswoman Boebert’s repeated, ongoing and targeted Islamophobic comments and actions against another Member of Congress, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, are both deeply offensive and concerning," the group said in a statement.
  • "We call on the Republican Leadership to address this priority with the Congresswoman and to finally take real action to confront racism."

McCarthy, in a statement Friday afternoon, said: “I talked to Congresswoman Lauren Boebert today. She has apologized for what she said and has reached out to Congresswoman Omar to meet next week."

  • "I spoke with Leader Hoyer today to help facilitate that meeting so that Congress can get back to talking to each other and working on the challenges facing the American people," McCarthy said.

The Congressional Black Caucus also condemned the comments made by Boebert in a statement on Friday, saying: "We believe this rhetoric perpetuates actions that could undoubtedly inspire more death threats to Representative Omar and her family. That is unacceptable."

Catch up quick: The video that emerged this week showed Boebert speaking to supporters, saying that she was in an elevator with Omar when a Capitol police officer ran for the door.

  • "What's happening? I look to my left, and there she is: Ilhan Omar," Boebert said. "And I said, well, she doesn't have a backpack, we should be fine."

Editor's note: This story has been updated with a statement from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

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