Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) defended Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on Wednesday by claiming, falsely, that Trump supporters had chanted “Jew-S-A” at his campaign rallies and he “never distanced himself.”
CNN’s Elizabeth Landers asked Pelosi to respond to a statement by Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday in which he called Omar’s Monday apology for antisemitic rhetoric “inadequate,” and said she did not belong on the House Foreign Affairs Committee:
.@IlhanMN tweets were a disgrace & her apology was inadequate. Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress, much less the Foreign Affairs Committee. Those who engage in anti-Semitic tropes should not just be denounced, they should face consequences for their words.
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) February 13, 2019
— Elizabeth Landers (@ElizLanders) February 13, 2019
Pelosi said: “As I heard the president [Donald Trump] speaking this morning, all that was going through my mind was ‘Jew-S-A, Jew-S-A’ at his rallies that he never distanced himself from.”
In all of the many rallies during the 2016 presidential campaign, and all of the Trump rallies since, there has been only one incidence of one individual chanting “Jew-S-A.”
As Breitbart News reported at the time, the perpetrator was a crazed man shouting at the media pen at a rally on October 30, 2016.
Guy chants “Jew-S-A” in front of press pen pic.twitter.com/2yqgA6dD4k
— Nick Corasaniti (@NYTnickc) October 29, 2016
The Trump campaign not only distanced itself from the man and the chant, but it “forcefully disavowed” that supporter — as the Washington Post noted.
Then-campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told CNN’s Jake Tapper: “His conduct is completely unacceptable and does not reflect our campaign or our candidate. … That man’s conduct was deplorable. And had I been there, I would have asked security to remove him immediately. Clearly, he doesn’t speak for the campaign or the candidate. … And I think what he had to say was disgusting.”
— CNN (@CNN) October 30, 2016
She noted that Trump had disavowed any support from racists or antisemites. And she added that the media’s attempt to pin the incident on Trump was “the best piece of evidence I have that we’re actually going to win in nine days.”
Pelosi’s attempt to deflect criticism of Omar comes as she herself is facing increasing criticism for appointing Omar to the House Foreign Affairs Committee last month despite concerns, even among Democrats, about Omar’s history of radical anti-Israel views and antisemitic rhetoric.
On Tuesday, the local Minneapolis/St. Paul Pioneer Press newspaper reported that Jewish leaders in the area had spoken with Omar last year in an attempt to convince her to change her rhetoric — to no avail.
Trump called on Omar to resign from Congress, or at least from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Tuesday.
Despite her apology, Omar’s offensive tweets remain live as of this writing.
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.