Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) apologized to the Muslim community on Friday after video of her making a comment about fellow Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) went viral over the Thanksgiving holiday.
During an event in her Colorado district, Boebert described an encounter with Omar in the halls of Congress as “not my first ‘Jihad Squad’ moment.” Her comments were caught on video and posted to Twitter.
“I was getting into an elevator with one of my staffers,” Boebert told the audience, some of whom can be heard laughing along and cheering.
She continued, “You know, we’re leaving the Capitol and we’re going back to my office and we get an elevator and I see a Capitol police officer running hurriedly to the elevator. I see fret all over his face, and he’s reaching, and the door’s shutting, like I can’t open it, like what’s happening. I look to my left, and there she is. Ilhan Omar. And I said, ‘Well, she doesn’t have a backpack, we should be fine.’”
Boebert added that she “looked over” and said, “Oh look, the jihad squad decided to show up to work today.”
“She’s not tough in person,” Boebert said.
Omar responded on Thursday, calling Boebert a “buffoon” and saying the anecdote was a fabrication.
“Fact, this buffoon looks down when she sees me at the Capitol, this whole story is made up,” Omar wrote. “Sad she thinks bigotry gets her clout.”
“Anti-Muslim bigotry isn’t funny & shouldn’t be normalized,” she added. “Congress can’t be a place where hateful and dangerous Muslims tropes get no condemnation.”
On Friday, Omar, who is Muslim and wears a hijab, again addressed the viral video, calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to take “appropriate action” against Boebert for her remarks.
“Saying I am a suicide bomber is no laughing matter,” Omar tweeted Friday, adding that “normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims.”
Also on Friday, Boebert tweeted an apology for her remark, saying she has reached out to Omar about it.
“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. There are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction,” Boebert tweeted.
Boebert was lambasted by Democrats and some Republicans for her comments on Twitter.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) claimed the congresswoman’s “slur” would “inspire more death threats to Ilhan and her family.” Swalwell also pointed the finger at McCarthy, saying he “condones” such remarks and must also be held accountable.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) tweeted “Boebert is TRASH” and then retweeted Boebert’s Republican primary challenger Marina Zimmerman, who piggybacked on Kinzinger’s remark and asked followers to “help me take out the trash.”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), a fellow member of the “Squad,” a group of progressive congresswomen including Omar, chimed in to criticize Boebert as well.
“The continued silence & inaction towards this hate-filled colleague and others is enabling violence. It must stop,” Tlaib tweeted.