The uproar over Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar’s tweets over the weekend, which critics and allies alike condemned as anti-Semitic, continued to spread Monday afternoon, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the chamber’s Democratic leadership condemning Omar’s remarks as “deeply offensive.”
In a joint statement, Pelosi and five other members of the leadership denounced Omar’s tweets and called on her to apologize.
“Legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate that the United States and Israel share,” the top Democrats said. “But Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive.”
The House leadership’s condemnation comes after several Jewish Democrats, including Reps. Jerry Nadler and Eliot Engel, issued statements condemning Omar’s tweet. Earlier on Monday, Politico reported that Democratic Reps. Josh Gottheimer and Elaine Luria were drafting a letter to the Democratic leadership calling on them to denounce anti-Semitism.
The statement comes as the controversy has reached a fever pitch of bad faith, particularly from Omar’s Republican opponents, after some interpreted her tweet as echoing the ugly stereotype about the influence of Jewish money in politics over the weekend.
So far, Omar’s tweets are still up, but she was responding to critics like Chelsea Clinton online Monday afternoon.
Update, 3:21 p.m. ET: Omar “unequivocally” apologized for the remarks on Twitter.