Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar said she was unaware of Jewish tropes and stereotypes she had previously invoked during a Sunday CNN segment.
Three house Democrats — Omar and California representatives Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell — appeared on CNN’s State of the Union discussing Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy’s efforts to remove them from committees.
Omar claimed ignorance over previous accusations of the Minnesota representative making anti-semitic comments.
“I might’ve used words at the time that I didn’t understand were trafficking in antisemitism,” the Minnesota representative told host Dana Bash. “When that was brought to my attention I apologized. I owned up to it. That’s the kind of person that I am. And I continue to work with my colleagues and my community to fight against antisemitism.”
Omar suggested McCarthy’s effort to remove her from committee was “politically motivated” and rooted in Islamophobia and racism.
”I certainly did not or was not aware that the word ‘hypnotized’ was a trope. I wasn’t aware of the fact that there are tropes about Jews and money. That has been very enlightening part of this journey,” she continued. “To insinuate that I knowingly said these things when people have read into my comments to make it sound as if I have something against the Jewish community is so wrong.”
ICYMI: @RepAdamSchiff, @Ilhan & @RepSwalwell joined @DanaBashCNN on #CNNSOTU. https://t.co/wymUfG8B2V
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) January 30, 2023
“Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar claims on CNN that she was ’not aware that the word “hypnotized” was a trope’ and ’wasn’t aware of the fact that there are tropes about Jews and money,’” said Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s Special Advisor for Communications, Steve Guest. “Give me a break. That’s BS.”
Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar claims on CNN that she was "not aware that the word 'hypnotized' was a trope" and "wasn't aware of the fact that there are tropes about Jews and money."
Give me a break. That's BS. pic.twitter.com/YesRd4RpNI
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) January 29, 2023
“Ilhan Omar definitely learned a LOT about antisemitic tropes … Omar discovered that if she focuses on ‘Israel’ and ‘Zionists’ instead of ‘Jews’ she can promote the same blood libels and get away with it without looking like an overt neo-Nazi à la Kanye,” said Former New York state assemblymen Dov Hikind.
“Wow I didn’t know it was possible to lie so much in under a minute…but if anyone can do it it’s Ilhan Omar,” said Ynetnews journalist Emily Schrader. “Spare me.”
In 2019, the Minnesota representative said, “it’s all about the Benjamins baby” — suggesting pro-Israel lobbyist group, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was motivated by money and influenced American policy in a now-deleted tweet.
Similarly in 2012 Omar suggested pro-Israel lobbyists pay off American politicians because “Israel has hypnotized the world.”
“May Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel,” Omar continued in her 11-year-old tweet.
“Those unfortunate words were the only words I could think about expressing at that moment,” Omar said when she addressed her criticism at the time.
Omar is the first Somali American and one of the first Muslims elected to Congress.