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Politics: Boebert and Omar fight leaves GOP scrambling

Lauren Boebert Faces Calls to Be Censured as Ilhan Omar Remarks Anger Democrats

  Lauren Boebert Faces Calls to Be Censured as Ilhan Omar Remarks Anger Democrats Omar has said Boebert's account of meeting her at the Capitol was "made up" and also accused her of bigotry.Boebert, a Republican who represents Colorado's 3rd congressional district, is also facing calls to be censured after a video was shared to Twitter of her relating a story about Omar and a Capitol police officer that concluded with a joke about a bomb in a backpack.

The House is grappling with yet another fight between a far-right Republican and a member of the progressive "squad" - this time Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) © Greg Nash Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.)

The war of words between the two lawmakers escalated on Monday when they clashed in a heated phone call over Islamophobic remarks Boebert made suggesting Omar could be a terrorist.

For Republicans, the battle marked yet another headache in which a member of its far-right flank attacked a prominent progressive lawmaker of color less than two weeks after House Democrats moved to censure and take away committee assignments from Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) for posting an edited anime video depicting himself killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

Lauren Boebert ripped for 'hateful and dangerous' Islamophobic story about Ilhan Omar: 'Well, she doesn't have a backpack. We should be fine'

  Lauren Boebert ripped for 'hateful and dangerous' Islamophobic story about Ilhan Omar: 'Well, she doesn't have a backpack. We should be fine' "This whole story is made up. Sad she thinks bigotry gets her clout," Omar said, also calling Boebert a "buffoon."A video posted on Twitter on Thursday by PatriotTakes — an organization that researches and monitors "the extremism and radicalization of the far right" — showed Boebert at a campaign event recounting a supposed run-in with Omar at the US Capitol where they both work in the House of Representatives.

Democrats, meanwhile, seized on Boebert's remarks to cast the GOP as beholden to extremist elements and pressure House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to condemn her actions.

At the same time, Democrats don't appear ready to formally punish Boebert like they did with Gosar or with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) earlier this year, in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, for appearing to endorse political violence.

McCarthy, for his part, said that he spoke with Boebert on Friday and that she apologized for her remarks. He also said in a statement that he phoned House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) asking for help coordinating a conversation between Omar and Boebert "so that Congress can get back to talking to each other and working on the challenges facing the American people."

Black Caucus Says Ilhan Omar May Face Death Threats Over 'Dangerous' Lauren Boebert Remark

  Black Caucus Says Ilhan Omar May Face Death Threats Over 'Dangerous' Lauren Boebert Remark The Republican representative apologized to the Muslim community for comments about the Minnesota Democrat.Boebert, a Republican who represents Colorado's 3rd congressional district, apologized to the Muslim community following remarks about Omar where she joked about a bomb in a backpack.

The controversy between Omar and Boebert began after a video surfaced over the Thanksgiving weekend of Boebert saying that she and a staffer were getting on a Capitol elevator when she saw a Capitol Police officer racing toward them.

She then turned and saw Omar standing nearby. "I said, 'Well, she doesn't have a backpack. We should be fine,' " Boebert recalled, drawing laughs from the audience. "And I said, 'Oh, look. The 'jihad squad' decided to show up for work today.'"

Omar denied that the encounter ever happened and accused Boebert of inventing a false story to smear her.

Unlike Gosar, Boebert initially made an effort to clean up her remarks and issued an apology on Friday "to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar." Boebert also reached out to Omar's office to speak with her directly.

But any effort to patch things up quickly unraveled when Boebert and Omar finally connected over the phone on Monday.

Ilhan Omar hangs up on Lauren Boebert after anti-Muslim attack

  Ilhan Omar hangs up on Lauren Boebert after anti-Muslim attack Democrats are now pushing to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert of House committee seats after her anti-Muslim comments Ilhan Omar and Lauren Boebert Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images

Omar issued a statement saying that she accepted Boebert's call "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."

"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," Omar said.

"I believe in engaging with those we disagree with respectfully, but not when that disagreement is rooted in outright bigotry and hate," she added.

Boebert, for her part, said in a video posted to Instagram that "as a strong Christian woman who values faith deeply, I never want anything I say to offend someone's religion." But she expressed frustration that Omar wanted a more extensive public apology and believed "what I had done wasn't good enough."

Boebert, citing the Minnesota Democrat's past criticisms of Israel and support for the "defund the police" movement, went on to again engage in an Islamophobic trope by suggesting Omar sympathizes with terrorists.

Trump launches lie-filled attack on Ilhan Omar calling on her to apologize for 'abandoning her former country' Somalia, which she fled as a young girl

  Trump launches lie-filled attack on Ilhan Omar calling on her to apologize for 'abandoning her former country' Somalia, which she fled as a young girl The former president's xenophobic and anti-refugee missive comes after Lauren Boebert called Omar to "apologize" for her Islamophobic comments."Congresswoman Ilhan Omar should apologize for marrying her brother, committing large-scale immigration and election fraud, wishing death to Israel, and for essentially abandoning her former country, which doesn't even have a government—Exactly what she'd like to see for the United States," said Trump in his statement.

"Make no mistake, I will continue to fearlessly put America first, never sympathizing with terrorists. Unfortunately, Ilhan can't say the same thing. And our country is worse off for it," Boebert said.

Boebert's renewed attacks on Omar came after Greene tweeted over the weekend that Omar and the "jihad squad" - a derogatory term she and Boebert have both used to describe the "squad" of progressive lawmakers of color - "are undeserving of an apology."

Aside from repeatedly using the term "jihad squad," both Greene and Boebert have invoked Islamophobic tropes or made anti-Muslim statements.

Before she began serving in the House, Greene visited the offices of Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) - another progressive "squad" member who is also Muslim - and falsely claimed that they weren't legitimate members of Congress because they took their oaths of office on the Quran instead of the Bible.

Omar also highlighted a clip of Boebert saying in an interview with a conservative talk show host that "it's really unfortunate that we have United States representatives who are full-time propagandists for Hamas, for state-sponsored terrorism."

Yet Greene and Boebert aren't outliers on the far right when it comes to expressing anti-Muslim sentiment.

Marjorie Taylor Greene picks a fight with fellow House Republican in defense of Lauren Boebert

  Marjorie Taylor Greene picks a fight with fellow House Republican in defense of Lauren Boebert Three freshman Republicans are locked in a bitter public feud centered on unprovoked attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar Marjorie Taylor Greene, Nancy Mace and Lauren Boebert Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images

This week's controversy comes almost six years after former President Trump called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

Pueblo County, Colo., Republican Party Chairman Robert Leverington expressed support for Boebert and told a Colorado radio station that she "probably expressed the sentiment of many Americans."

And earlier this month, a Republican candidate who unexpectedly defeated the New Jersey state Senate president was found to have expressed anti-Muslim messages in social media posts.

Other Republicans, meanwhile, distanced themselves from Boebert and urged McCarthy to condemn her remarks.

"I think whenever, even in our own caucus, our own members, if they go the wrong direction, I mean, it has to be called out. It has to be dealt with, particularly whenever it is breaching the civility, whenever it is crossing the line in terms of violence or increasing the divide in our country," Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

And Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), one of the two Republicans who voted to rebuke Gosar this month, tweeted that Boebert is "TRASH."

"I take sides between decency and disgusting in how we govern," Kinzinger wrote.

AOC blasts Dem leadership for not stripping Boebert's committees seats: 'Embarrassing' .
The New York Democrat posted the tweet amid the controversy between Boebert and Ocasio-Cortez’s fellow “Squad” member Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. "It’s embarrassing that there is any hesitation on this," Ocasio-Cortez wrote. "How can we have different consequences for different kinds of bigotry or incitement?" MCCARTHY BACKS BOEBERT AFTER APOLOGY FOR OMAR REMARKS, BUT SAYS CONTROVERSIES LIKE HERS ARE ‘PROBLEMS’ "This should be treated equally and consistently," the self-described democratic socialist continued. "Incite against a member and you’re stripped. End of story. She refuses to even apologize.

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