Trump Calls for Congresswoman’s Resignation

Trump Calls for Congresswoman’s Resignation

By Rebecca Ballhaus

WASHINGTON—President Trump on Tuesday called on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) to resign over comments she made that were criticized as anti-Semitic.

“I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee,” he said, speaking during a cabinet meeting at the White House.

Ms. Omar, a freshman lawmaker, apologized on Monday after Democratic and Republican leaders condemned her suggestion that lawmakers’ support for Israel was driven by money from a pro-Israel lobbying group. “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,” she said on Twitter.

Mr. Trump on Tuesday said Ms. Omar’s comments were “deep-seated in her heart” and called her apology “lame.”

Ms. Omar didn’t immediately respond to Mr. Trump’s call for her resignation. A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said Mr. Trump’s call was “ridiculous,” noting that Ms. Omar had apologized.

At issue were two tweets, in which Ms. Omar first remarked “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” referring to $100 bills and U.S. politicians defending Israel, and then named Aipac—a pro-Israel lobbying group—as the organization she said was paying them.

Mr. Trump has faced his own rebukes for comments that were criticized as anti-Semitic, including an image he posted on Twitter during his presidential campaign showing Hillary Clinton against a backdrop of cash, with the words “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever” inside a six-pointed star that looked to some like the Star of David.

The campaign deleted the tweet after a backlash, though at the time Mr. Trump was unapologetic. “You know they took the star down,” Mr. Trump said at a campaign rally. “I said, ‘Too bad, you should have left it up.’ I would have rather defended it.” Mr. Trump called people who were offended by the tweet “sick people.”

Mr. Trump described himself in a 2017 news conference as “the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life.”

The public rebuke of Ms. Omar comes amid a split in the Democratic Party between supporters of Israel’s policies and a newly empowered progressive wing critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. In the first few weeks of the new Congress, Ms. Omar and Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, the first Muslim women elected to Congress, have both come under fire over prior statements about Israel, though mostly by Republicans.

—Natalie Andrews contributed to this article.

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