Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer asked Friday whether Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar could “ever fly the flag maybe just once for us?”
Hemmer spoke with “America’s Newsroom” co-anchor Dana Perino and Townhall editor Katie Pavlich about Omar’s recent comments saying that the United States and Israel were guilty of “atrocities”and mentioning them in the same sentence as terror groups like Hamas and the Taliban. (RELATED: ‘I Don’t Want To See Video Edits’: Bill Hemmer Flames ABC For Airing Biden Interview In Bits And Pieces)
“She tried to walk this back and say I was in no way equating the two groups,” Perino began as Pavlich joined the show. “But she continued to do this. This is not the first time that she said something and said actually, that is not what I meant. But how else could you take it?” (RELATED: ‘Unthinkable Atrocities’: Ilhan Omar Equates US And Israel With The Taliban And Hamas Terrorists)
“She uses the United States and Israel in the same sentence next to Hamas and the Taliban. Saying they committed atrocities and that they need to be held accountable,” Pavlich replied, going on to note that even as Omar tried to reframe her comments, other members of the “Squad” had quickly rallied to her defense, accusing anyone who criticized her of doing so out of Islamophobia or a desire to silence women of color.
“You had AOC saying that she wishes Democrats in the party would come to them and speak up privately before they condemned her publicly. But she is making these statements publicly,” Pavlich continued. “They want the benefit of saying these extreme things, which many can argue have led to violence in the streets against Jewish Americans. They want to say them publicly, but they don’t want to face the backlash publicly.”
Pavlich went on to note that even though this was not the first time Omar had said such things, she was still a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“She is equating the United States and Israel to U.S. government sanctioned and designated terrorist organizations,” Pavlich added. “Many people have taken off committee assignments for saying far less than she has.”
Perino noted that Omar had also tweeted about the response to her comments, claiming that Democrats called her for help when they wanted her and then put out statements condemning her comments. “The Islamophobic tropes and the statement are offensive. The constant harassment and silencing is unbearable,” Omar tweeted.
Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib also defended Omar, tweeting that Muslim women did not have “freedom of speech” in Congress.
“She talked about the United States in comparison with the Taliban. Do you know what the Taliban handed to women in Afghanistan. This is reprehensible,” Hemmer said, clearly emotional. “Ilhan Omar was born in Somalia. Raised in a refugee camp in Kenya. She came to the United States I think at the age of nine. Can she ever fly the flag may be once for us?”
“Maybe a little bit of gratitude rather than constant criticism of the country that saved her and allows her to go from a refugee camp to being a United States Congresswoman, where she does have free speech as a woman, where she does have the ability to speak out. That doesn’t mean she is free of criticism, especially as a public figure,” Pavlich replied.
Pavlich concluded by saying that even in their defenses, Omar an Tlaib did not clarify or condemn the things that Omar had actually said, opting instead to say that anyone critical of Omar must be a bigot.
“We see this over and over again,” Pavlich said. “They like to play the victim on making statements that are not based in fact.”