WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Tuesday that freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar’s apology for suggesting that members of Congress support Israel because they are being paid to do so was “lame” and that she should resign.
In a pair of tweets over the weekend, the Minnesota Democrat, who is one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress, criticized the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC. “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” she wrote, using slang for $100 bills.
Asked on Twitter who she thought was paying members of Congress to support Israel, Omar responded, “AIPAC!”
Trump told reporters at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday that “anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress.”
The president said it was “terrible” what Omar said. “I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. What she said is so deep-seated in her heart.”
He said her apology was “lame and she didn’t mean a word of it.”
Omar said she had no intention of offending anyone, including Jewish Americans, when she insinuated that lobbyists were paying lawmakers to support Israel. She “unequivocally” apologized.
Vice President Mike Pence tweeted later Tuesday that Omar’s “tweets were a disgrace & her apology was inadequate.”
“Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress, much less the Foreign Affairs Committee,” he added. “Those who engage in anti-Semitic tropes should not just be denounced, they should face consequences for their words.”