Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., claimed a report about her criticism of former President Barack Obama distorted her words, but her “proof” backfired miserably.
On Friday, Politico published an article that included bits from an interview with the anti-Semitic congresswoman.
In a rare split from the Democratic establishment, the freshman congresswoman harshly criticized Obama’s use of drones and accused the former president of caging kids at the southern border, a charge Democrats typically throw at President Donald Trump.
“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,” Politico reported.
“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,” Omar said, according to Politico. “They just were more polished than he was. 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.”
Omar’s criticism of Obama didn’t last long.
She tried to take back her comments Friday just hours after the Politico article was published.
In a now-deleted tweet, Omar linked to an audio recording of the interview and said the report misconstrued what she said.
“Exhibit A of how reporters distort words. I’m an Obama fan! I was saying how Trump is different from Obama, and why we should focus on policy not politics. This is why I always tape my interviews,” she tweeted.
Omar probably deleted the tweet because her own audio only confirmed Politico’s reporting.
In fact, the audio makes her criticism of Obama seem even worse.
“You know, I will talk about the family separation or caging of kids and then people will point out that this was wrong — I mean this was Obama. And you know I’ll say something about the droning of countries around the world and people will say that was Obama. And all of that is very true,” Omar said in the recording before she began her criticism of Trump.
She said Trump’s “policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies.
So @Ilhan Omar has released audio of what she said about Trump and Obama. She claims she was quoted out of context and that she's an Obama fan. Here's the transcript. You be the judge. cc: @blakehounshell @TimAlberta pic.twitter.com/a3IKhh5bAZ
— David Martosko (@dmartosko) March 8, 2019
Omar was widely mocked for her bizarre claims.
Even Nate Silver of the left-leaning FiveThirtyEight and Ashley Feinberg of the liberal HuffPost said Politico faithfully reported Omar’s comments.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) March 8, 2019
i mean, it sounds like politico presented the quote perfectly in context — and it was an great quote so i'm not sure what the issue is https://t.co/ygAty1eCYc
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) March 8, 2019
The media are often wrong, but this definitely wasn’t one of those instances. Omar’s ridiculous accusation against Politico is dangerous because it only undermines real complaints about media inaccuracy.
And Omar shouldn’t have been ashamed of her comments about Obama. It was a refreshing take compared with her anti-Semitic remarks.
Just when people thought Omar finally said something sensible, she completely ruined it by pretending she was taken out of context.