Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota spoke on the phone, the two members of Congress confirmed Monday, amid criticism of Boebert’s anti-Muslim remarks aimed at Omar.
The call did little to calm tensions between the two lawmakers, as Omar says she hung up on Boebert, after she “refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments.”
“She instead doubled down on her rhetoric and I decided to end the unproductive call,” Omar said in a statement.
In posts on social media, Boebert says she spoke to Omar and that she told her, “I have reflected on my previous remarks, now as a strong Christian woman who values faith deeply I never want anything I say to offend someone’s religion.” She confirmed Omar had asked for a public apology — and that instead she had challenged Omar to issue an apology of her own for some of the comments she has made in the past.
“I will fearlessly continue to put America first, never sympathizing with terrorists,” Boebert said. “Unfortunately Ilhan can’t say the same thing and our country is worse off for it.”
In her statement, Omar repeated her call for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to take action against Boebert.
“I believe in engaging with those we disagree with respectfully, but not when that disagreement is rooted in outright bigotry and hate,” Omar said in her statement. “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.”
On Friday, Boebert had apologized to “anyone in the Muslim community I offended” on Twitter after video surfaced of her making anti-Muslim comments last weekend about Omar. In the video, posted earlier this month on Facebook, Boebert implied Omar had been mistaken for a terrorist in an elevator on Capitol Hill. Boebert’s comments were flagged by the Twitter account PatriotTakes, a left-wing group that researches right-wing extremism and is associated with the liberal PAC MeidasTouch.
Last week, Omar called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and McCarthy to take action against Boebert, who has repeatedly made anti-Muslim remarks and has referred to Omar, who is one of two Muslim women in Congress, as a member of the “jihad squad.”
“Normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims,” Omar said in another tweet initially responding to Boebert’s comments. “Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress.”
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