Sen. Bernie Sanders reached out to Rep. Ilhan Omar directly as she faced criticism and backlash from fellow Democrats and Republicans alike this week for tweets that many felt were anti-Semitic, according to The Daily Beast.
Sanders, almost certainly the highest profile Jewish politician in America, mentioned his contact with Omar on a conference call with James Zogby, the founder of Arab American Institute and former member of the Democratic National Committee’s executive committee.
“I talked to Ilhan last night to give her my personal support,” Sanders reportedly said on the call. “We will stand by our Muslim brothers and sisters.”
Omar’s office confirmed to the Daily Beast that Sanders had reached out.
“Ilhan is a vital, important new leader in Congress—and she’s been facing a slew of Islamophobic attacks,” MoveOn Political Action executive director told The Daily Beast. “We’re proud to have supported her in her primary and general election campaign. We’re eager to continue supporting her strong, principled leadership on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and across our shared priorities. She apologized for her tweet, and these endless bad-faith attempts to attack and undermine the only two Muslim women in the House need to stop.”
After Omar faced backlash from her Democratic colleagues over her tweets, which correctly asserted that the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC influences members of Congress, Donald Trump called on her to resign.
In response, Omar shamed Trump for his own prejudice. Trump has “trafficked in hate [his] whole life—against Jews, Muslims, Indigenous, immigrants, black people, and more,” she tweeted.
“I learned from people impacted by my words,” Omar said. “When will you?”
Omar proved her importance on the House Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday by ripping war criminal Elliott Abrams to shreds during his testimony on U.S. intervention in Venezuela.
“I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony that you give today to be truthful,” she said during the hearing, referencing Abrams involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal.
Abrams attempted to respond, but Omar quickly clarified.
“That was not a question,” she said.