Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) hit back at President Donald Trump on Wednesday after he called her recent apology over controversial tweets “lame,” telling the president: “I learned from people impacted by my words. When will you?”
“You have trafficked in hate your whole life — against Jews, Muslims, Indigenous, immigrants, black people and more,” she tweeted at him in response to his criticism.
Trump, who’s no stranger to making controversial and anti-Semitic comments, as well as avoiding apologies, suggested that Omar should either resign from Congress or she should resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee after she was accused of using “anti-Semitic tropes” on Twitter.
“What she said is so deep-seated in her heart, that her lame apology ― that’s what it was, it was lame, and she didn’t mean a word of it ― was just not appropriate,” he said on Tuesday.
On Sunday, Omar suggested on Twitter that members of Congress support Israel because they are being paid to do so, drawing bipartisan criticism.
“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” the freshman lawmaker said in her apology on Monday. “My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole.”
“We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity,” she continued. “This is why I unequivocally apologize.”
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) was among those to stand behind Omar’s apology, which in contrast to Trump he called “entirely appropriate.”
“She’s a brand-new, freshman representative. Sometimes, you get out there, and you say things and then you try to correct it,” he told CNN’s New Day on Wednesday. “For any of us that are on television, like right now, you get questions, you make responses or you put out a tweet trying to be funny or to try to press a point, and sometimes you go over the line.”
“I’m a negotiator, like you folks,” he at one point told the coalition’s members, invoking the stereotype of Jews being greedy, cunning businesspeople.
“Is there anybody who doesn’t renegotiate deals in this room? This room renegotiates … perhaps more than any other room I’ve ever spoken to,” he also said.