House Democrat: ‘Double Standard’ for Trump’s ‘Overtly Antisemitic’ Rallies and ‘Young Muslim Woman’

(INSET: Ilhan Omar) Congressman Gerry Connolly, D-11th, gestures during an election party in Falls Church, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Steve Helber, Carolyn Kaster/AP

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) claimed on Thursday morning there is a “double standard” when it comes to the media’s coverage of Rep. Ilham Omar’s (D-MN) repeated trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes and President Donald Trump’s rallies, which the lawmaker claimed, without evidence, are “overtly” anti-Jewish.

Connolly made the statements during a CNN appearance.

A partial transcript is as follows: 

POPPY HARLOW: You have been vocal in your support for Minnesota congresswoman, the freshman representative Ilhan Omar after the fallout of her anti-Semitic tweets. I know you don’t agree with her statements, but here’s what you said in her defense. “She’s a freshman, she’s new here, she’s young. I think she’s learned a painful lesson.” But, her first anti-Semitic trope dates back seven years, Congressman, to 2012, when she said Israel had hypnotized the world and talked about the evil doings of Israel.

I’d like to understand. She’s a member of Congress and this isn’t a new statement, this is a series of statements that is deeply offensive to many Jewish-Americans and many Americans, and I’m wondering if you’re concerned about how far back it goes.

REP. GERRY CONNOLLY: I am. I am concerned that anyone with a history of anti-Semitism frankly needs to confront their own words and understand their impact, and obviously, we need to understand the mindset behind it. But I stand by what I said. She is young, she is new, and she is now a member of Congress. She was a young citizen before that. That doesn’t excuse those words, but it puts it, somewhat, into a context. I will say this, Poppy, I don’t understand why this is a three-or-four-day story, but  given all the other things we’re dealing with.

She’s apologized. She was condemned by Democratic leadership. And she apologized unequivocally. Meanwhile, we have the contrast on the Republican side, of a president, where does one even begin to talk about hateful speech with him? He’s got MAGA rallies that in many cases are overtly anti-Semitic, we have remarks that were anti-Semitic code by the Republican leader here in the House. We have a 17-year history of Steve King and racist remarks, and there was absolute silence on the Republican side of the aisle to reason with. So why the double standard between this young, Muslim woman, and all the other history that’s out there?

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