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Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) grilled President Trump's special representative to Venezuela Elliott Abrams during a House Foreign Affairs hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday, arguing that she doesn't understand why the committee should believe Abrams' testimony in 2019 since he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in the 1980s about the Iran-Contra affair.

Highlights

On Iran-Contra:

  • Omar: "Mr. Abrams, in 1991 you pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress regarding your involvement in the Iran-Contra affair for which you were later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony that you give today to be truthful.”
  • Abrams: “If I could respond to that …”
  • Omar: “It wasn’t a question.”
  • Abrams: "It was an attack."

On the El Mozote massacre in El Salvador:

  • Omar: “You dismissed as 'communist propaganda' reports about the massacre of El Mozote in which more than 800 civilians, including children as young as 2 years old, were brutally murdered by U.S.-trained troops. ... You later said the U.S. policy in El Salvador was a 'fabulous achievement.' ... Do you think that massacre was a 'fabulous achievement?'"
  • Abrams: “That is a ridiculous question."
  • Omar: "Yes or no?"
  • Abrams: "No."
  • Omar: "I will take that as a yes."
  • Abrams: "I’m not going to respond to that kind of personal attack.”

On U.S. Venezuela policy under Trump:

  • Omar: “Would you support an armed faction within Venezuela that engages in war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide if you believe they were serving U.S. interests, as you did in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua?’
  • Abrams: “I am not going to respond to that question. I'm sorry. I don't think this entire line of questioning is meant to be real questions, and so I will not reply.”

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages and flooding.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Saudi dissident claims MBS said he could get "poison ring" to kill king

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attending the Saudi Green Initiative Forum, via video link, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Photo: Royal Court of Saudi Arabia/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A former senior Saudi intelligence official who worked with the U.S. on counterterrorism alleged to "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed in 2014 killing the kingdom's then-monarch.

Why it matters: The claim by the exiled Saad al-Jabri, whom Saudi authorities describe as "a discredited former government official," that the crown prince, known as "MBS," allegedly said he could obtain a "ring from Russia" to carry out the attack, is one of several serious but unproven allegations he made on the CBS show.

“You blew it”: GOP activist turns on corporations over vaccine mandates

The chairman of the American Conservative Union said on "Axios on HBO" he accepts "Joe Biden is my president, and I want him to succeed," but predicted Republicans retake the House and Senate in 2022 — with greater than 50% odds Donald Trump runs in 2024.

The big picture: In a joint interview with his wife, Mercedes, Matt Schlapp also refused to share their vaccination status. And he told corporate America "you blew it" by embracing vaccine mandates and liberal social stances that have alienated GOP voters and politicians.