Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert on Monday claimed Ilhan Omar hung up on her during a telephone call to ease tensions after she joked about the Democratic lawmaker being a suicide bomber, and then went on to accuse her rival of being anti-American and a terrorist sympathizer.
If the phone call was meant to smooth over an ugly row, the Colorado Republican’s video message will only enflame matters.
According to Boebert’s account, the two demanded apologies of each other.
‘I told Ilhan Omar that she should make a public apology to the American people for her anti-American, antisemitic anti-police rhetoric.
‘She continued to press and I continued to press back and then representative Omar hung up on me.
‘Rejecting an apology and hanging up on someone is part of cancel culture 101.’
It comes after Boebert was caught on video making an Islamophobic joke about sharing an elevator with Omar.
‘”Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine,'” Boebert recalled while addressing supporters during the holiday break.
“And I said, ‘Oh look, the jihad squad decided to show up for work today.”‘
Her comments attracted widespread criticism and calls for punishment.
‘Saying I am a suicide bomber is no laughing matter,’ Omar tweeted Friday. ‘[GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy] and [Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi] 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.’
The Congressional Black Caucus also issued a condemnation of Boebert Friday, saying her conduct was ‘morally reprehensible and dangerous’ and would lead to further death threats on Omar’s family.
Boebert offered an apology on Twitter Friday to the Muslim community, but said that she would speak with Rep Omar directly
Lauren Boebert, the Colorado congresswoman, was at an event where she told a story about Ilhan Omar, representative for Minnesota
Ilhan Omar, pictured on September 21, is – along with Rashida Tlaib – one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress
Omar asked Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy to punish Boebert
The Congressional Black Caucus offered their own condemnation of Boebert’s words
Boebert tweeted Thursday: ‘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 unnecessary distraction.’
She published a video message on Monday afternoon, saying that a conversation – albeit truncated – had happened.
‘I will continue to fearlessly put America first, never sympathizing with terrorists,’ she said.
‘Unfortunately, Ilhan can’t say the same thing. And our country is worse off for it.’
Boebert has made a quick name for herself in Washington since taking up her seat in January, part of a new generation of lawmakers that sees controversy as their currency.
She has delighted in trolling liberals, insisting on her right to bring a gun onto the floor of the House, voting to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory and maintaining a fiery presence on social media in which she insists Biden and Democrats are leading the country to socialism.
And her backpack slur attracted a whole new cycle of attention.
It erupted after video emerged of her telling the joke to a crowd of supporters – recounting a supposed encounter that Omar quickly confirmed as a lie.
With the Stars and Stripes hanging behind her, Boebert tells her ‘joke’
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.
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
— PatriotTakes (@patriottakes) November 25, 2021
‘So the other night was not my first ‘jihad squad’ moment,’ said Boebert.
‘I was getting into an elevator with one of my staffers. And he and I were leaving the Capitol, we’re going back to my office, we get in the elevator, and I see a Capitol Police officer running, hurriedly, to the elevator.
‘I see threat all over his face, and he’s reaching. The door’s shutting, and I can’t open it.
‘I look to my left, and there she is. Ilhan Omar.
‘And I say well, she doesn’t have a backpack, we should be fine.’
The crowd reacted with a mixture of shocked gasps and muffled laughter.
Boebert added: ‘The jihad squad decided to show up for work today.’
Ilhan Omar is pictured with Pramila Jayapal, another member of ‘The Squad’
The clip rapidly went viral, and was seen 2.2 million times on Twitter, with many calling for Boebert to be reprimanded by her party and stripped of her committee assignments.
But Omar, 39, swiftly said that the incident Boebert described never happened.
‘Fact, this buffoon looks down when she sees me at the Capitol, this whole story is made up,’ said Omar.
‘Sad she thinks bigotry gets her clout. 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.’
Boebert (left) is seen on October 21 sitting next to fellow members of Congress Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene
On social media, many were disgusted with Boebert’s remarks, pointing out that you would be fired from many jobs for making similar comments.
‘Censure Boebert and remove her from all committees — then we vote her out!’ said one woman.
‘The Subcommittee on Indigenous Peoples of the United States — REALLY!?!’
Another said: ‘What the Hell. Strip her of committees, too. In for a penny in for a pound.
‘This cannot be acceptable behavior. In any other employee situation, the person would be fired immediately for violation of personnel policies.’
Another added: ‘Doesn’t Congress have an HR department? I mean if you said that to a coworker at McDs you’d get fired. WTF?’
‘If I literally did the EXACT thing in a Colorado public school I would be suspended and then fired,’ said another.
‘Why does Congress not have ANY repercussions for this sort of behavior?’
One woman said that her remarks were indicative of how low standards in public life had sunk.
‘This is such a grossly unpatriotic, dangerous comment coming from a member of Congress,’ she said.
‘It’s beyond deplorable, beyond censure. Watching LB say these things with an unenthusiastic smattering of applause really hits just how low standards in the US gov’t have become since ’16.’