Boebert Reaches Out to Omar, Escalates Feud
The feud between Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) escalated after Boebert reached out to Omar on Monday in an attempt to bridge the gap following incendiary remarks she’d made suggesting Omar was a terrorist.
Boebert became the center of left-wing ire after a video surfaced of her suggesting that Omar, a Muslim, could be a suicide bomber.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said that he spoke with Boebert on Friday, and she apologized for her comments. He also said in a statement that he contacted House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) for help coordinating a conversation between Omar and Boebert “so that Congress can get back to talking to each other and working on the challenges facing the American people.”
The incendiary video
The tension between Boebert and Omar boiled over after a video surfaced over Thanksgiving weekend of the far-right freshman lawmaker saying she and a staffer were getting on a Capitol elevator when she saw a Capitol Police officer running toward them.
She then turned and saw Omar standing nearby. “I said, ‘Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine,'” Boebert said. “And I said, ‘Oh, look. The ‘jihad squad’ decided to show up for work today.'”
Boebert issued an apology on Friday “to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar.” Boebert also reached out to Omar’s office to speak with her directly.
But any effort to patch things up quickly soured when Boebert and Omar finally connected over the phone on Monday.
The ill-fated phone call
While Omar has said that the elevator encounter didn’t happen, the pair’s accounts of Monday’s phone call don’t differ too much. Both agree that the call ended with Omar abruptly hanging up on Boebert, and both came away equally aggravated.
Omar said the apology was inadequate, and Boebert said Omar and the Democrats were being too sensitive.
“Instead of apologizing for her Islamophobic comments and fabricated lies, Representative Boebert refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments,” Omar said in a statement. “She instead doubled down on her rhetoric, and I decided to end the unproductive call.”
According to Ben Stout, Boebert’s press secretary, Boebert told Omar she was a “strong Christian woman.” She said she should have attacked Omar on their dissenting political views, not on her religion. Boebert said she shouldn’t have told the elevator story and shouldn’t have called her a member of the “jihad squad.”
At that point, Omar demanded a public apology.
“I told Ilhan Omar that she should make a public apology to the American people for her anti-American, antisemitic, anti-police rhetoric,” Boebert said in an Instagram video. “She continued to press, and I continued to press back.”