Dem Mayor Blasts Rep. Ilhan Omar For ‘Sending Vitriolic Tweets’ And ‘Being Mean-Spirited’

Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
Font Size:

Democratic Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called out Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar’s public posture Tuesday, shortly after she narrowly survived a primary challenge.

Frey, who endorsed former Minneapolis City Councilman and Board of Education member Don Samuels in the primary, criticized Omar during an interview with Fox 9 KMSP.

“There was a massive shift over these last couple of years. This basically went from 20 points down to about dead even. That should send a message to any elected official, that they have to work with a broad set of their constituency,” Frey said.

Samuels, who ran a campaign centered on public safety, lost by fewer than 2,500 votes despite being out-raised by more than $1.3 million.

The mayor also seemingly called out the behavior of the representative, stating the position is “not just about sending vitriolic tweets and being mean-spirited,” but rather “working with people.”

Frey also alleged that Omar refused to meet with him and his team, even blowing off a planned meeting in Washington, D.C.

“We’ve even gone to visit her in D.C. and she’s stood up meetings. It’s unfortunate,” he said, explaining that it was “one of the reasons” he supported Samuels. (RELATED: Murder Increased Nationwide By Record Rate In 2020 As Police Employment Fell, FBI Report Shows)

Omar endorsed two different challengers to Frey during the mayor’s successful 2021 re-election campaign.

The mayor did bring up Omar’s support for defunding Minneapolis Police during the interview. Omar voted in November 2021 in support of an amendment to the Minneapolis City Charter that would eliminate a provision requiring a minimum number of police. The amendment was a prerequisite to defunding police.

In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, Frey faced criticism from left-wing activists for opposing abolishing the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD). A ballot measure in 2021 to officially abolish the department failed, but the Minneapolis City Council voted to slash $8 millions in funding the same year. Minneapolis tallied its highest yearly murder total in more than 20 years.