Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) failed to appear at Wednesday’s hearing at the House Foreign Affairs Committee during testimony by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Breitbart News has confirmed.
Omar’s appointment to the committee in January was controversial, given her history of anti-Israel and antisemitic rhetoric, and her support for the anti-Israel “boycott, divestment, sanctions” (BDS) movement, which Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) theoretically opposes.
Since landing on the committee, Omar has caused even more controversy with a slew of antisemitic remarks that Pelosi and other leaders have struggled to defend. Pelosi, however, has resisted pressure to remove Omar from the committee.
In her own defense, Omar published an op-ed in the Washington Post earlier this month outlining her foreign policy views, citing her experience as a refugee and calling for an “inclusive foreign policy — one that centers on human rights, justice and peace.
Given the chance to argue for those views before Pompeo, however, Omar was curiously absent.
Breitbart News reported that Pompeo told the committee that Omar’s remarks had created problems for the U.S. abroad, though he did not name her directly: “Language used by members of Congress matters. These countries all around the world are listening to you all they’re watching. They’re watching to see if this a whole of United States government process. They’re watching voices even if sometimes those voices are outliers. They don’t always know what to make of it.”
Omar was not present at the time — and she does not appear to have attended the hearing at all.
She appears, however, to have attended a hearing of the House Budget Committee, on which she also sits:
As a refugee, I know American exceptionalism is about more than military might. It's about making sure everone has a stable, healthy life.
– Cuts SNAP, which helps 23,000 military families
-Slashes student loans— when 41% of veterans are carrying student debt pic.twitter.com/Ef1a10QRMH
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) March 27, 2019
Earlier this week, Omar attacked Pelosi for her “use of language” criticizing BDS in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which Omar has criticized in antisemitic terms.
It is not known if her absence from the committee was related to that argument.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
Edwin Mora contributed to this article.