Rep. Ilman Omar tore into Tucker Carlson on Twitter, calling him a "racist fool" after the Fox News host said she was "living proof that the way we practice immigration has become dangerous to this country" on his show Tuesday night.
"Not gonna lie, it’s kinda fun watching a racist fool like this weeping about my presence in Congress," Omar said in her tweet.
Carlson made the remarks during a segment in which he disputed some Democratic presidential candidates' criticisms of the United States, citing as an example former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke's recent comment that America and its institutions were "founded on white supremacy."
"In fact, the United States is the kindest, most open-minded place on the planet," Carlson said. "Some of our deepest satisfaction as a country comes from watching penniless immigrants arrive on our shores, buy into our values, and thrive."
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Not gonna lie, it’s kinda fun watching a racist fool like this weeping about my presence in Congress 🤣🤣— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 10, 2019
No lies will stamp out my love for this country or my resolve to make our union more perfect.
They will just have to get used to calling me Congresswoman! https://t.co/nRS13yWivK
Carlson said it was "in that spirit" that the United States granted Omar and her family asylum from Somalia.
"Ilhan Omar has an awful lot to be grateful for. But she isn't grateful, not at all. After everything America has done for Omar, and her family, she hates this country more than ever," Carlson said.
Carlson claimed that Omar accused Americans of "bigotry and racism" in "virtually every public statement she makes" and said she "has undisguised contempt for the United States and for its people."
"That should worry you, and not just because Omar is now a sitting member of Congress," Carlson told his viewers. "Ilhan Omar is living proof that the way we practice immigration has become dangerous to this country. A system designed to strengthen America is instead undermining it."
Carlson wondered whether the problem he sees with immigrants was due to a failure to "make them assimilate so they never feel fully American" or if it was the result of "importing people from places whose values are simply antithetical to ours." But he said that if the problem was not addressed, America could suffer the same fate as the Roman Empire.
In her tweet responding to Carlson's comments, Omar said, "No lies will stamp out my love for this country or my resolve to make our union more perfect.
"They will just have to get used to calling me Congresswoman!"
Others condemned Carlson's comments as well.
"It’s common for Tucker Carlson to make racist & sexist comments on his show, but this is a new low," tweeted Rep. Katie Hill, D-Calif. She also called for Carlson to apologize to Omar and for Fox News to fire him.
"This kind of hate is inexcusable, and it’s on all of us to call it out and demand better," Hill said.
It’s common for Tucker Carlson to make racist & sexist comments on his show, but this is a new low. @IlhanMN deserves an apology — Tucker deserves to be fired. This kind of hate is inexcusable, and it’s on all of us to call it out and demand better. https://t.co/lP2eUJ2u8x— Katie Hill (@KatieHill4CA) July 10, 2019
Carlson "is living proof that xenophobia and bigotry have become dangerous to this country," tweeted conservative commentator Max Boot.
The civil rights group Muslim Advocates also called for Fox News to fire Carlson and called on companies to pull to their ads from his show.
"This is not a critique of Omar's ideas or politics. This is hate speech directed at her as a Muslim and as an immigrant," the group's public advocacy director Scott Simpson said in a statement. "This is not the first time he has shown such naked bigotry on his show, and it won't be the last as long as Fox gives him a platform."
"Unlike immigrants, natural-born citizens such as Carlson are neither screened nor forced to pass a citizenship test nor made to swear an oath. And when they stray from the American way, no one thinks to tell them that they’re failing to assimilate," wrote The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf.
Friedersdorf pointed to a list of Omar's public statements and said they show that Carlson's claim wasn't true because while her comments are "frequently critical of the United States, she tends to attack what she regards as the country’s failure to live up to its lofty values."
Conservative Mark Levin, on the other hand, went after CNN for criticizing his fellow Fox News host, saying in a tweet, "Once again, CNN comes to the defense of rabid anti-Semite Ilhan Omar."
President Donald Trump retweeted Levin's post to his 61.8 million followers without additional comment.
Once again, CNN comes to the defense of rabid anti-Semite Ilhan Omar https://t.co/XNuN4HC4vj— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) July 10, 2019
Carlson responded to the criticism on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Wednesday, saying the "left went berserk"
"lhan Omar and her allies in Congress immediately demanded that this show be pulled off the air. They didn’t rebut our points, or even acknowledge them. They just tried to silence us. That’s how they operate. And of course they called us racist."
Carlson called the charge of racism was "absurd." He said that his show, "more than any other on television, has taken an aggressive position in favor of colorblind equality, and against racism"
"Omar has made a career of denouncing anyone and anything in her way as racist," he said, adding that she "may be from another country, but she learned young that crying racism pays."
Both Carlson and Omar have generated a lot of controversy in recent months.
Omar had to apologize for comments she made criticizing the influence of the pro-Israel lobby, which were widely condemned as anti-Semitic. One of her statements caused the House to pass a resolution condemning hate.
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Carlson has taken heat for past comments he made about women and sexual assault during radio interviews with a "shock jock" named Bubba the Love Sponge more than a decade ago. More recently, he defended Trump's apparent affinity for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by saying leading a country "means killing people" and for calling African-American Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., one of the "whitest candidates" in the presidential race.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ilhan Omar calls Tucker Carlson 'racist fool' for immigration rant