Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi came to the defense of an embattled member of her caucus Thursday, shielding Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar from allegations of anti-Semitism.
Omar came under fire from colleagues on both sides of the aisle for claiming that members of Congress are expected to “have allegiance/pledge support” for Israel, reviving an old “dual loyalty” canard that is commonly used to smear Jewish people.
Pelosi said that she is confident Omar’s comments weren’t intended to be anti-Semitic during a morning press conference on Capitol Hill. (RELATED: Clyburn: Omar’s Experiences Are ‘More Personal’ Than Children Of Holocaust Survivors)
NEW: Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Rep. Ilhan Omar: “I don’t think that the congresswoman perhaps appreciates the full weight of how it was heard by other people, although I don’t believe it was intended in any anti-Semitic way.” https://t.co/JQGNCG3tlF pic.twitter.com/JVuHrC5eOv
— ABC News (@ABC) March 7, 2019
“I don’t think that the congresswoman perhaps appreciates the full weight of how it was heard by other people, although I don’t believe it was intended in any anti-Semitic way,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi also added that Omar needs to be more careful with her words now that she’s a member of Congress. (RELATED: Pelosi Walked Out Of Meeting With Democrats On Anti-Semitism, Report Says)
“I understand how advocates come in with their enthusiasms, but when you cross that threshold into Congress, your words weigh much more,” she said. “I feel confident that her words were not based on any anti-Semitic attitude.”
The House is expected to vote Thursday afternoon on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry, although the resolution will not mention Omar by name.