House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Friday that Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) did not need to make a further apology for anti-Muslim comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and accused Democratic leaders of treating worse offenses by their own members with kid gloves.
“What’s interesting to me, I didn’t get to watch Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi’s press conference [Thursday], did any of you raise the question when someone on their side of the aisle said I work with the Ku Klux Klan, referring to Republicans?” McCarthy asked reporters, referring to a tweet earlier this week by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
“Did anyone on your side of the aisle talk about [how] when Omar said the only reason I support Israel is about the Benjamins, I never got a public apology or phone call?” he added.
“Did anybody on your side of the aisle — I think you might have asked Speaker Pelosi about this one — when Congresswoman Omar referred to America and the Taliban as equal, because I remember Speaker Pelosi saying something to the effect, I could be wrong, it was to the effect that she did not denounce her for saying that,” McCarthy continued. “I think when somebody does something that is wrong, they apologize.”
Boebert tweeted an apology last week to “anyone in the Muslim community I offended” after video emerged of her joking about being in an elevator with Omar when a Capitol Police officer rushed toward them.
“I said, ‘Well, she [Omar] doesn’t have a backpack, we should be fine,’” deadpanned Boebert, who has also repeatedly referred to Omar as a member of “the Jihad Squad.”
Tensions between the two lawmakers intensified Monday after a phone call aimed at smoothing things over. The lawmakers put out conflicting statements after the call, with Omar claiming Boebert had declined to apologize for “Islamophobic comments and fabricated lies.”
Boebert, for her part, said she thought her earlier Twitter apology was sufficient, called on Omar to apologize for “anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-police rhetoric” and claimed the “Squad” member “hung up on me.”
McCarthy said Friday that he had spoken to Boebert and claimed “she apologized publicly” as well as “personally.”
“We should lower the temperature of this Congress,” McCarthy told reporters. “We should work together and talk to one another. In disagreements, if something goes astray, you apologize for it — exactly what Lauren Boebert did.”
The Republican leader added that he had spoken with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who slammed Boebert’s comment as “reprehensible and dangerous” earlier this week and called on the GOP to “cleanse itself from this toxic kind of conduct.”
More than 30 Democrats have called for Boebert to be removed from the House Budget and Natural Resources committees, but it is unclear what disciplinary action Democratic leaders will take.
Two Democratic sources told The Post leadership is considering bringing a resolution condemning Islamophobia to the floor for a vote, similar to a resolution against racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia following Omar’s “all about the Benjamins” tweet referring to pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC.