It appears that Rep. Lauren Boebert and Rep. Ilhan Omar will not be breaking bread anytime soon after a tense phone conversation about offensive comments made by the Colorado Republican about her congressional colleague.
Last week, a video surfaced of Boebert (R-Colo.) discussing the time she stood in an elevator beside Omar (D-Minn.) at the Capitol, and a Capitol police officer fearfully ran toward them. (Omar denies that this ever happened.)
“I looked to my left and there she is: Ilhan Omar,” Boebert recounted in front of an audience at an event. “And I said, ‘Well, she does not have a backpack, we should be OK.’” She also referred to Omar, the only member of Congress who wears a hijab, as being part of the “Jihad Squad.”
Boebert’s comments implying that Omar could be a suicide bomber did not go over well with Democrats. Nonetheless, Omar said she agreed to speak with Boebert on Monday in hopes of obtaining a “direct apology.”
On Friday, Boebert had tweeted an apology “to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar” and said she had reached out to her office.
“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 in a statement. “I believe in engaging with those we disagree with respectfully, but not when that disagreement is rooted in outright bigotry and hate.”
Boebert gave her version of the events in an Instagram video.
“As a strong Christian woman who values faith deeply, I never want anything I say to offend someone’s religion,” she began. “… She kept asking for a public apology, so I told Ilhan Omar that she should make a public apology to the American people for her anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-police rhetoric.”
Following some back and forth, Boebert said, Omar “hung up on me.” She closed out her message by stating that she will always put “America first, never sympathizing with terrorists. Unfortunately, Ilhan can’t say the same thing.”
Omar and her fellow Democrats have urged Republican leader Kevin McCarthy “to actually hold his party accountable,” as she said in her statement.
She continued, “This is not about one hateful statement or one politician; it is about a party that has mainstreamed bigotry and hatred.”
Reports have noted the conflict between Boebert and Omar will likely be discussed when Congress returns to session this week.