Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) in the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 16, 2021. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
In a Monday phone call, Colorado U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert didn’t apologize for her repeated anti-Muslim comments, according to the Minnesota congresswoman who was the target of those comments and the recipient of the phone call.
“Instead of apologizing for her Islamophobic comments and fabricated lies, Rep. Boebert refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments,” Democratic U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota said in a Monday statement posted on Twitter. “She instead doubled down on her rhetoric and I decided to end the unproductive call.”
Boebert, a Republican from Silt, had her own take on the conversation and its abrupt end.
Boebert said on Facebook that during the call, she told Omar, “I never want anything I say to offend someone’s religion,” and that Omar told Boebert she wanted a public apology. Boebert said she replied that Omar should be the one to apologize to the American people for her “anti-semitic, anti-police rhetoric.”
“She continued to press, and I continued to press back,” Boebert recalled. Omar then hung up the phone, Boebert said — calling that a prime example of “cancel culture,” “a pillar of the Democrat party.”
The phone call followed a public disagreement between the two congresswomen on Friday over a video in which Boebert told a story about seeing Omar as she was getting into an elevator at the Capitol and saying, “Well, she doesn’t have a backpack, we should be fine.” The video was posted by PatriotTakes and allegedly showed a campaign event over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Omar called Boebert a “buffoon” and tweeted, “Saying I am a suicide bomber is no laughing matter. ” Boebert subsequently tweeted an apology to “anyone in the Muslim community I have offended with my comment about Rep. Omar.”
The video came after Boebert made headlines for labeling Omar, who is Muslim, part of the “jihad squad” during a Nov. 17 speech on the House floor.
In her Monday Twitter post, Omar defended her decision to hang up on Boebert.
“I believe in engaging with those we disagree with respectfully, but not when that disagreement is rooted in outright bigotry and hate,” Omar said. “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.”
In a Monday statement, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, condemned Republican House leaders for failing to discipline Boebert and a colleague, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, for their “anti-Muslim attacks” and misuse of Islamic terminology.
The statement said House Democratic leaders should censure Boebert if Republicans refused to take action.
“CAIR also calls on Representative Boebert to directly apologize to Congresswoman Omar and go beyond her half-hearted apology to ‘anyone in the Muslim community I offended,’” Robert McCaw, director of CAIR’s Government Affairs Department, said in the statement. “Leadership means taking responsibility for your actions.”
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