In an interview with Politico Magazine published Friday, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) argued that former President Barack Obama is a “more polished” version of President Donald Trump, noting both their administrations have employed several of the same policies on border security and foreign policy.
Omar told Politico Magazine’s chief political correspondent Tim Alberta that her decision to run for the House of Representatives in 2018 was driven more so by the failings of the Democratic Party than “Trumpism.”
Politico Magazine reports:
As she saw it, the party ostensibly committed to progressive values had become complicit in perpetuating the status quo. Omar says the “hope and change” offered by Barack Obama was a mirage. Recalling the “caging of kids” at the U.S.-Mexico border and the “droning of countries around the world” on Obama’s watch, she argues that the Democratic president operated within the same fundamentally broken framework as his Republican successor.
“We can’t be only upset with Trump. … His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was,” Omar says. “And that’s not what we should be looking for anymore. We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.”
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Detaining child migrant border crossers was a policy employed by the Obama administration, where Breitbart Texas exclusively reported on the conditions that unaccompanied minors faced being packed into crowded holding cells. President Trump called on Congress to shut the loophole to allow minors to swiftly deported from the United States with their border-crossing parents, however, lawmakers thus far have failed to act.
The interview’s publication follows the passage of an anti-hate resolution, which was expanded to include various other forms of bigotry amid concerns by some Democrats that a measure focused solely on antisemitism would be too critical of Omar.
The measure passed with a vote of 407-23. Nearly two dozen Republicans, including House Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), rejected the measure because it failed to name Omar specifically.
House Democrat leadership brought forth the resolution in response to Omar’s latest antisemitic outburst, in which she suggesting last week that pro-Israel groups pressure lawmakers to “pledge allegiance” to a foreign country.
Speaking before reporters Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refused to call on Omar to apologize, claiming the freshman congresswoman didn’t realize her controversial statements about Israel would be received as antisemitic.
“I do not believe she understood the full weight of her words. These words have a history and a cultural impact,” Pelosi said of Omar’s remark.
Earlier this year, Omar apologized for a 2012 tweet in which she said Israel had “hypnotized” America. And last month, she apologized for suggesting that members of Congress support Israel because they are bribed into doing so. House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) rebuked Omar’s suggestion and called on her to apologize for her what he referred to as a “vile antisemitic slur.”