US Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert has issued an apology to Muslims after Representative Ilhan Omar called for an “appropriate action” against her for "anti-Muslim bigotry" over an anecdote she shared in a recent speech.
During an event in her Colorado district, Boebert told the audience about an encounter with Omar in the Capitol — which Omar says never happened.
“I was getting into an elevator with one of my staffers,” Boebert told the laughing crowd. “You know, we’re leaving the Capitol and we’re going back to my office and we get an elevator and I see a Capitol police officer running to the elevator. I see fret all over his face, and he’s reaching, and the door’s shutting, like I can’t open it, like what’s happening. I look to my left, and there she is. Ilhan Omar. And I said, ‘Well, she doesn’t have a backpack, we should be fine.’ ”
Hours later, Democratic leadership released a statement blasting Boebert's "Islamophobic and racist comments" and called on their Republican counterparts to "finally take real action to confront racism.”
Democratic leaders called for Boebert to "fully retract these comments and refrain from making similar ones going forward."
“Congresswoman Boebert’s repeated, ongoing and targeted Islamophobic comments and actions against another Member of Congress, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, are both deeply offensive and concerning," they wrote.
“Leader McCarthy and the entire House Republican Leadership’s repeated failure to condemn inflammatory and bigoted rhetoric from members of their conference is outrageous," they added. "We call on the Republican Leadership to address this priority with the Congresswoman and to finally take real action to confront racism.”
Omar on Friday called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to discipline Boebert.
“Saying I am a suicide bomber is no laughing matter,” Omar tweeted. “@GOPLeader and @SpeakerPelosi need to take appropriate action, normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims. Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress.”
Saying I am a suicide bomber is no laughing matter. @GOPLeader and @SpeakerPelosi need to take appropriate action, normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims. Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress. https://t.co/A0VxI3uTmH pic.twitter.com/QTmqaGaZrM— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 26, 2021
A day earlier, Omar said the story was concocted and called Boebert a “buffoon.”
“Anti-Muslim bigotry isn’t funny & shouldn’t be normalized,” Omar tweeted. “Congress can’t be a place where hateful and dangerous Muslims tropes get no condemnation.”
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
Boebert apologized for the comments on Friday afternoon and said she had reached out to Omar.
“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,” Boebert tweeted. “There are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction.”