MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Rep. Ilhan Omar says she hung up Monday on Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert after the Colorado congresswoman refused to publicly apologize for anti-Muslim comments she made about Omar when speaking to supporters.
Last week, a video surfaced on Twitter of Boebert telling supporters over the holiday break about an alleged episode where she and the Minnesota congresswoman where in a Capitol elevator and a security guard was running toward them. In her telling, Boebert turned to Omar and said: “Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine.”READ MORE: Minnesota Weather: Sunday Snow To Create Monday Commute Headaches
The line drew laughs from Boebert’s audience, but Omar said that the entire story was made up, adding that what Boebert said is hateful and dangerous not only to her but other Muslims as well. Boebert’s comments drew condemnation from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which called for Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to publicly address the remarks.
Boebert apologized Friday for using the anti-Muslim language, but she did not directly apologize to Omar or respond to Omar’s criticism that the story was fabricated. The Colorado congresswoman said she reached out to have a direct conversation with Omar, saying that they had “plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction.”
The conversation happened Monday, but afterwards the two were not talking policy.
“Today, I graciously accepted a call from Rep. Lauren Boebert in the hope of receiving a direct apology for falsely claiming she met me in an elevator, suggesting I was a terrorist, and for a history of anti-Muslim hate,” Omar said, in a statement. “Instead of apologizing for her Islamophobic comments and fabricated lies, Rep. Boebert refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments. She instead doubled down on her rhetoric and I decided to end the unproductive call.”
While Omar said she believes in respectfully engaging with those whom she disagrees, she does not do so when that disagreement is rooted in bigotry.
“To date, the Republican Party leadership has done nothing to condemn and hold their own members accountable for repeated instances of anti-Muslim hate and harassment,” Omar said. “This is not about one hateful statement or one politician; it is about a party that has mainstreamed bigotry and hatred. It is time for Republican Leader McCarthy to actually hold his party accountable.”READ MORE: 'You Are Not Alone': Domestic Violence Interventionists Highlight Resources After Women Murdered In St. Paul
On Instagram, Boebert posted a video Monday where she said that she called Omar because she had reflected over her previous remarks and didn’t want something she said to “offend anyone’s religion.” However, she didn’t give Omar a direct public apology. The two argued over this before Omar eventually hung up.
“I told Ilhan Omar that she should make a public apology to the American people for her anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-police rhetoric,” Boebert said in her video to supporters.
She continued: “Rejecting an apology and hanging up on someone is part of cancel culture 101 and a pillar of the Democratic Party. Make no mistake, I will continue to fearlessly put America first, never sympathizing with terrorists. Unfortunately, Ilhan can’t say the same thing….This isn’t about religion, it’s about the horrible, failed Democratic policies and anti-Americanism that I will call out each and every time I hear it.”
On Monday, CAIR called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer to consider censuring Boebert for accusing Omar of being anti-American and sympathizing with terrorists. Again, CAIR’s leadership called for McCarthy, the top Republican in the House, to condemn Boebert’s remarks and demand that she publicly apologize.
“If she once again refuses to do so, Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer should move to censure her,” said Robert McCaw, CAIR’s director of government affairs. “Failing to do so would signal that Islamophobia is an acceptable form of bigotry in the halls of Congress.”
Members of Congress who are censured are required to give up any committee chairs they hold. Boebert, a freshman congresswoman, is currently on the Committee on Natural Resources, and the Committee on the Budget.
According to Omar’s office, Boebert has repeatedly called Omar a propogandist for terrorist groups made up other stories about her, including another alleged elevator incident where Boebert called Omar a member of the “jihad squad.”MORE NEWS: Humanitarian Group Creating Homes, 'Sense Of Relief' For Afghan Refugees Heading To Minnesota