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Rep. Lauren Boebert suggested Rep. Ilhan Omar was terrorist in anti-Muslim remarks at event

<i>Getty Images</i><br/>Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado apologized to
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Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado apologized to "anyone in the Muslim community I offended" on Twitter Friday after video surfaced of her making anti-Muslim comments last weekend about Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

By Andrew Kaczynski

Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado apologized to “anyone in the Muslim community I offended” on Twitter Friday after video surfaced of her making anti-Muslim comments last weekend about Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

In the video, posted last Saturday on Facebook from an event that day, Boebert implied Omar had been mistaken for a terrorist in an elevator on Capitol Hill.

“So the other night on the House floor was not my first jihad squad moment,” Boebert told a crowd. “I was getting into an elevator with one of my staffers and he and I were leaving the Capitol, we’re going back to my office and we get in the elevator and I see a Capitol Police officer running hurriedly to the elevator. I see fret all over his face. And he’s reaching. The door is shutting. I can’t open it.”

“What’s happening? I look to my left and there she is, Ilhan Omar, and I said, ‘Well she doesn’t have a backpack, we should be fine,'” Boebert continued. “So we only had one floor to go and I say, do I say it or do I not? And I look over and I say, ‘Look, the jihad squad decided to show up for work today.’ Don’t worry, it’s just her staffers on Twitter that talk for her. She’s not tough in person.”

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.

CNN has reached out to Boebert and multiple members of the congresswoman’s office for comment but has not received a response.

Boebert said Friday she had contacted Omar’s office.

“I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep Omar,” Boebert said in a statement posted on Twitter.

“I have reached out to her office to speak with her directly. There are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction,” she said.

Omar said the “whole story” was made up and condemned Boebert for her comments.

“Fact, this buffoon looks down when she sees me at the Capitol, this whole story is made up. Sad she thinks bigotry gets her clout,” Omar tweeted on Thursday. “Anti-Muslim bigotry isn’t funny & shouldn’t be normalized. Congress can’t be a place where hateful and dangerous Muslims tropes get no condemnation.”

On Friday, Omar called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to take action against Boebert.

“Normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims,” Omar said in another tweet. “Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress.”

Democratic leaders called on Boebert to fully retract her comments, saying in a statement the congresswoman’s “language and behavior are far beneath the standard of integrity, dignity and decency with which the Constitution and our constituents require that we act in the House.”

“Congresswoman Boebert’s repeated, ongoing and targeted Islamophobic comments and actions against another Member of Congress, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, are both deeply offensive and concerning,” said Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Majority Whip James Clyburn, assistant Speaker Katherine Clark, Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries and Caucus Vice Chair Pete Aguilar.

The Democratic leadership also called on McCarthy to act.

“Leader McCarthy and the entire House Republican Leadership’s repeated failure to condemn inflammatory and bigoted rhetoric from members of their conference is outrageous,” they said. “We call on the Republican Leadership to address this priority with the Congresswoman and to finally take real action to confront racism.”

McCarthy said he spoke to Boebert on Friday in the wake of her comments and is encouraging she meet with Rep. Omar.

“She has apologized for what she said and has reached out to Congresswoman Omar to meet next week,” McCarthy said in a statement. “I spoke with Leader Hoyer today to help facilitate that meeting so that Congress can get back to talking to each other and working on the challenges facing the American people.”

CNN reached out to McCarthy’s office multiple times on Friday for a comment about Boebert, but they did not provide a statement to CNN until Saturday.

Two members of the House Republican caucus, Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, have previously been censured or stripped of their committee assignments in the wake of incendiary incidents.

This story has updated with statements from Democratic leadership and Kevin McCarthy.

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CNN’s Melanie Zanona, Eva McKend and Lauren Fox contributed to this report.

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Comments

5 Comments

  1. “There are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction.” Yup, Boebert’s comment is clear about her own lame, unnecessary, crude, racist attempt at being cute. She needs to turn on her brain before opening her mouth. Disgusting.

  2. – ok this person (Boebert) is being paid, by us, to be a member of congress – can anyone name one thing she has done since taking office, besides fabricating discord, spreading falsehoods, stimulating the prejudicially and conspiratorially pre-disposed, and generally appalling and embarrassing any reasonable American (including many Republicans, at least the ones who still have the stones to speak up)?

  3. The Democrats forget about everything they said about Trump. Never a repercussion to any of them no mater how bad it was. This is going to get worse as time goes on. The Republicans learned this behavior from the Democrats during the Trump administration. What’s good for them, is good for me. I don’t hold back on calling Biden a Moron, Idiot, Brandon, many others, but I will not say anything derogatory about his dementia, that is something he cannot control. Time to get some thick skin, I think they sell it at Wal-Mart.

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