Trump calls on Ilhan Omar to resign over 'anti-Semitic' remarks
WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday called on Republican Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) to resign for comments on Israel that were criticized as anti-Semitic.
"I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee," Trump said of the freshman lawmaker.
Omar apologized on Monday for suggesting that U.S. support for a Jewish state is the result of money flowing from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), an influential pro-Israel lobbying group.
The comments were quickly condemned by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders. But House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told Roll Call that Omar would not be stripped of her committee assignments.
The president said Omar's comments are "deep-seated in her heart" and called her apology "lame."
Trump was similarly critical of Omar on Monday night but had stopped short of calling on the congresswoman to step down.
"I think she should be ashamed of herself," Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One.
Asked at the time what an appropriate response would be for Omar, Trump said, "She knows what to say."
Omar prompted criticism from members of both major parties on Sunday evening when she retweeted journalist Glenn Greenwald's response to a story about House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) promising "action" toward the Minnesota lawmaker and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) over their alleged anti-Semitism.
She captioned that retweet with the message, "It's all about the Benjamins baby," referring to money.
Asked who she "thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel," Omar replied "AIPAC!" referencing the pro-Israel lobbying group.
The comments were quickly condemned by Pelosi and other Democratic leaders, who called her use of anti-Semitic tropes "deeply offensive."
Republican lawmakers had seized on Omar's tweets, with McCarthy and others urging Democrats to speak out against the freshman lawmaker.
Conservatives have touted GOP leaders' decision last month to strip Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) of his committee assignments after he questioned why the term "white supremacist" is offensive, contrasting it to Democrats' response to Omar.
But some Democrats have called Republicans' punishment for King too little too late, pointing out that the Iowa lawmaker has made inflammatory comments about Hispanic immigrants for years.