McCarthy vows GOP will remove Ilhan Omar from Foreign Affairs committee if they take power

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Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar stands outside the US Capitol (EPA)
Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar stands outside the US Capitol (EPA)

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy pledged to support a resolution to remove congresswoman Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee should the GOP take power in the 2022 midterms.

The congressman’s remarks came Tuesday morning during an interview with Fox & Friends, where the GOP leader assailed the second-term congresswoman for alleged anti-American views.

"I think Nancy Pelosi should remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs committee,” Mr McCarthy said, referring to the speaker of the House, before describing Ms Omar as “an individual that has not once, but on numerous occasions been anti-Semitic”.

“If we are fortunate enough to have the majority, Omar would not be serving on Foreign Affairs, or anybody that has an anti-Semitic, anti-American view. That is not productive, and that is not right,” Mr McaCarthy added.

Ms Omar caused controversy last week when, during testimony by secretary of state Antony Blinken in front of the committee, she declared the US was guilty of committing “war crimes” throughout its history, and likened the US and Israel to the terrorist groups Hamas and the Taliban.

The comments, including a subsequent tweet by Ms Omar summarizing her remarks, drew accusations from conservatives and some Jewish members of her own party of anti-Semitism. In particular, Ms Omar was accused of “equating” the crimes of terrorist groups with the US and its top ally in the Middle East, Israel.

Her comments were condemned by a handful of House Democrats, and the party’s leadership issued a joint statement asking her to clarify the remarks. Her progressive allies, meanwhile, defended the remarks as an accurate portrayal of US actions including the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

Ms Omar, who is Black and Muslim, has previously faced accusations of anti-Semitism regarding her criticism of Israel, which she has forcefully denied.

Allies of the second-term Minnesota congresswoman argue that other Democrats who issue similar criticism of Israel, including Reps. Betty McCollum and Mark Pocan, rarely receive the same vitriolic pushback from Republicans that their colleague regularly witnesses.

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