On Monday, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) clashed in a phone call over Boebert’s recent remarks where she called Omar a member of the “jihad squad.” Both lawmakers issued statements blasting each other after the call.
As Landon covered, over Thanksgiving, Boebert was captured on video telling supporters in Colorado that she was recently in a Capitol elevator with Omar when a police officer ran up. In the video, Boebert claims that she told the officer, “Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine.”
“So we only had one floor to go, and was like ‘do I say it? Do I not?’ I looked over and I said ‘oh look, the jihad squad decided to show up for work today,” Boebert told supporters in the video. She added that Omar’s staffers talk for her on Twitter and that she’s “not tough in person.”
Over the Thanksgiving break, Lauren Boebert said she was recently in a Capitol elevator with Ilhan Omar when a fretful Capitol police officer ran up.— PatriotTakes ???? (@patriottakes) November 25, 2021
Lauren Boebert said: “Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine.”
Boebert then called Ilhan Omar, “jihad squad.” pic.twitter.com/Y7f0nFbnud
Omar responded on Twitter, calling Boebert a “buffoon” and said that she fabricated the story and “looks down when she sees me at the Capitol.”
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.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 26, 2021
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. https://t.co/S1APT7RbqW
On Friday, Boebert took to Twitter to apologize to the Muslim community for her comments and claimed she had reached out to Omar directly.
“There are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction,” she wrote.
I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar. 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.— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) November 26, 2021
On Monday, the two congresswomen spoke via telephone about Boebert's comments, in an exchange Omar described as "unproductive."
After the call, Omar issued the following statement.
“Today, I graciously accepted a call from Rep. Lauren Boebert 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. I decided to end the unproductive call.
I believe in engaging with those we disagree with respectfully, but not when that disagreement is rooted in outright bigotry and hate.
To date, the Republican Party leadership has done nothing to condemn and hold their own members accountable for repeated instances of anti-Muslim hate and harassment. This is not about one hateful statement or one politician; it is about a party that has mainstreamed bigotry and hatred. It is time for Republican Leader McCarthy to actually hold his party accountable.”
Boebert took to Instagram, where she posted a video describing the call.
"I wanted to let her [Omar] know directly that I had reflected on my previous remarks. Now, as a strong Christian woman who values faith deeply, I never want anything I say to offend someone's religion. So I told her that. Even after I put out a public statement to that effect. She said that she still wanted a public apology because what I had done wasn't good enough," Boebert said.
"I told Ilhan Omar that she should make a public apology to the American people for her anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-police rhetoric. She continued to press, and I continued to press back. And then, Rep. Omar hung up on me," Boebert said. "Rejecting an apology and hanging up on someone is part of cancel culture 101, a pillar of the Democratic party."
"This isn't about religion," Boebert concluded in her video. "It's about the horrible, failed Democrat policies and anti-Americanism that I will call out each and every time I hear it."
Another GOP congresswoman, Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) chimed in over the weekend, saying via Twitter that lawmakers like Omar are “undeserving of an apology.”
Democrats want us censored, shut down, and imprisoned.— Marjorie Taylor Greene ???? (@mtgreenee) November 27, 2021
Never apologize to Islamic terrorist sympathizers, communists, or those who fund murder with our tax dollars.@IlhanMN and the Jihad Squad are all three and are undeserving of an apology. https://t.co/GPjECyIQFu