The Potluck

Rep. Omar hangs up on Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert after ‘unproductive call’

By: - November 29, 2021 3:07 pm

U.S. Rep. lhan Omar. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar said she spoke by phone Monday with Colorado GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert.

It did not go well.

“I decided to end the unproductive call,” Omar said in a statement.

Boebert apologized Friday for joking that she felt safe sharing an elevator ride with Omar, who is Muslim, because Omar wasn’t wearing a backpack.

Facing criticism for her remark, Boebart walked it back Friday, tweeting, “I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar. I have reached out to her office to speak with her directly.”

In a statement issued Monday afternoon, Omar said, “Today, I graciously accepted a call from Rep. Lauren Boebert in the hope of receiving a direct apology for falsely claiming she met me in an elevator, suggesting I was a terrorist, and for a history of anti-Muslim hate. Instead of apologizing for her Islamophobic comments and fabricated lies, Rep. Boebert refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments. She instead doubled down on her rhetoric and I decided to end the unproductive call.”

Boebert’s comment about the elevator ride were captured on video last week and posted by @PatriotTakes, a Twitter account run by a liberal group. They were said to be from a campaign event over the Thanksgiving holiday. Omar responded by calling Boebert a “buffoon” in a Thursday tweet.

It is unclear how long the two spoke by phone. A spokesperson for Omar did not immediately reply to a follow-up question about the phone call.

“I believe in engaging with those we disagree with respectfully, but not when that disagreement is rooted in outright bigotry and hate,” Omar said in her statement. 

Omar, who represents Minnesota’s Fifth District, has called for Boebert to be held accountable for her actions. 

Boebert offered her version of the phone call in an Instagram video, saying she never wants to offend anyone’s religion. To Omar’s demand for a public apology, Boebert said she had issued one in a previous statement.

“She kept asking for a public apology, so I told Ilhan Omar that she should make a public apology to the American people for her anti-America, anti-Semitic, anti-police rhetoric,” Boebert said. “Rejecting an apology and hanging up is part of Cancel Culture 101 and a pillar of the Democrat party.”

The Democratic-controlled U.S. House has disciplined GOP members for making inflammatory remarks. 

In February, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia was removed from the congressional committees she serves on. Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona was also stripped of his committee assignments earlier this month for an online post that targeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

It’s unclear if Boebert will face the same censure or disciplinary action. A request seeking comment from Boebert was not immediately returned. 

In February, when Taylor Greene faced action for her comments, Republicans also took aim at Omar, criticizing remarks she had made that were perceived to be anti-Semitic. Omar later apologized for those remarks.

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Ricardo Lopez
Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez was a senior political reporter for the Reformer. Ricardo is not new to Minnesota politics, previously reporting on the Dayton administration and statehouse for The Star Tribune from 2014 to 2017, and the Republican National Convention in 2016. Previously, he was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times covering the California economy. He's a Las Vegas native who has adopted Minnesota as his home state. In his spare time, he likes to run, cook and volunteer with Save-a-Bull, a Minneapolis dog rescue group.