“Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough railed against the Republican party on Friday after 218 House GOP members voted to remove Minnesota’s Democratic representative Ilhan Omar from her assignment on the Foreign Affairs Committee over previous antisemitic comments.
The segment opened with a montage of comments from several Democratic lawmakers who defended Omar, including representative from New York Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. During her speech, AOC argued actions and comments from Paul Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Greene as being far worse than Omar’s.
“She actually had somebody, Gosar, threatening her life, glorifying an image of her getting her head chopped off in a cartoon,” Scarborough said, illustrating how Gosar and Taylor Greene’s behavior was more abhorrent than Omar’s. “Then you go down the MTG things, the killing, the decapitating — well, the — all the other things, and the space lasers financed by Jewish families. Of course, of course, she’s holding a gun. I think it was an AR-15 in an ad … [She] said that she needed to go on the offensive against ‘the Squad,’ and there was a picture of Ilhan Omar, AOC.”
“The hypocrisy is absolutely crazy,” he continued. “Congressman Omar made a couple of statements that were considered antisemitic. She apologized for them. I must say, they certainly were no worse and I would say far less egregious than what we hear from Donald Trump, what we hear from Donald Trump’s dinner guests, what we’ve been hearing from the Republican party over the past five, six years, what we hear coming out of Charlottesville. This is not a close call.”
Guest panelist Michael Steele argued that the move to oust Omar is “Kevin McCarthy’s payback” and “retributive politics.”
“There could’ve been nothing said, there could’ve been nothing done to prevent this from happening because it was ordained by Marjorie Taylor Green and others in the Freedom Caucus that if you become speaker you take her out. If you become speaker, you take out [Eric] Swalwell and others,” Steele said. “So the reality that we have done this, that’s a check box, that retribution that’s been paid back.”
He then argued that voters allowed Omar’s removal to happen by putting Republicans in power.
“I’m not letting people off the hook here,” he said. “You knew it was going to happen, they told you what they were going to do and you voted for them anyway … These members are there because the American people put them there and you get the consequences from their behavior when you vote for it.”
While Scarborough acknowledged that he’s disagreed with statements from AOC and Omar, he emphasized that debate is “how we get better as a people.”
“They have damaged Congress by doing this and they have made it an intellectually weaker place to work,” he concluded of the Republican party.
Watch the full “Morning Joe” segment in the video above.