Omar Addresses The Now-Deleted AIPAC Tweet That Sparked Backlash

Mike Brest | Reporter

Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar discussed her recently-deleted tweet that alleged a pro-Israel lobbying group buys congressional support on The Intercept’s Thursday morning podcast “Deconstructed” with Mehdi Hasan.

Omar directed her criticism specifically to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Both Democrats and Republicans condemned Omar’s comment. President Donald Trump called for her to resign, or at the very least be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Speaker Pelosi also issued a condemnation of the tweet, but did not call for any repercussions.

The Minnesota congresswoman issued an apology on Twitter soon thereafter and discussed the whole debacle with Hasan. (RELATED: Omar Releases Statement After Backlash Surrounding Tweet Accusing AIPAC Of Buying Israel Support)

“I mean, what were you apologizing for? Was it a badly-worded tweet that you apologizing for or was it for being anti-Semitic wittingly or unwittingly?” Hasan asked.

“Absolutely not, I apologized for the way that my words made people feel. Often times, you know, we are in places where someone will say something and they might not know how it makes you feel and it’s not acceptable that once you express to them that this is hurtful or that you have felt attacked by their words,” Omar answered. “They should apologize. And you know figure out a way to remedy that situation.”

U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar participates in a news conference to call on Congress to cut funding for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) participates in a news conference to call on Congress to cut funding for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

“Is that why you deleted your tweets this week?” Hasan responded. “Because the chairwoman of the Republican party is all over Twitter suggesting that was some sort of bad move on your part or bad faith move on your part.” (RELATED: House Overwhelmingly Approves Motion To Condemn Anti-Semitism Amid Omar Fallout)

“I mean for a Republican who always makes a bad faith move to call someone out on that is laughable, as you just did,” the Minnesota congresswoman followed up. “The reason, you know, and the purpose of the apology was to make sure that the people who were hurt felt understood and heard. And leaving the tweets up no longer would be part of that.”

Omar continued:

I think it was appropriate for our party to speak on it. And you know, it was appropriate for me to acknowledge the harm that it caused, but I think people conflate two things. I think there were some people who were condemning me not only on the hurt that the words could cause, there were people who were actually condemning me for speaking the truth about, you know, the kind of influences that exist, that determine, you know, our foreign and domestic policies and for that I think, you know, my tweet kind of spoke to it.

She also revealed that she supports a two-state solution, earlier in the interview.

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