President Donald Trump called on first-year Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar to resign from Congress over tweets criticized as anti-Semitic.
“Anti-Semitism has no place” in Congress, Trump said during a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
The Minnesota congresswoman issued an apology on Monday after suggesting in tweets that U.S. support for Israel was influenced by money from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a lobby group. She was criticized by her party’s leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Trump called Omar’s apology for her remarks “lame” and said, “I think she should resign from Congress.”
The president never apologized for saying there were “very fine people on both sides” of a violent August 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, staged by white supremacists defending a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. One counter-protester was killed in the fracas.
“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” Omar wrote on Twitter. “At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry.”
Representative Max Rose, a New York Democrat who was among the first to publicly criticize Omar but has also privately counseled her, said Trump “is obviously making an attempt to inject himself, as he so masterfully does, into the news cycle.”
“The only problem here is he’s doing it in a hypocritical fashion,” Rose said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “He has not said one thing about a member of the Republican Party — and there are plenty of them — who have echoed anti-Semitic remarks.”
Trump has not personally commented on Representative Steve King, an Iowa Republican whose party leaders stripped him of his committee assignments last month after he questioned in a New York Times interview whether white supremacy and white nationalism should be considered offensive philosophies. King has a long history of using racially offensive language but has denied that he is racist.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denounced King’s remarks in the Times interview as “abhorrent.”