Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has — again — sparked controversy for what one Republican congressman described as a “shameful” display on Wednesday.
While at a joint press conference with a number of other Democrat colleagues following a briefing on the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Omar was spotted giggling while another representative spoke about U.S. troops who have been killed or injured in Iraq, Breitbart reported.
Banks calls out Omar
Omar’s disrespectful behavior was called out as “shameful” and beneath the dignity of a House member by Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), a U.S. Navy reservist who deployed to Afghanistan from 2014-2015.
In a statement to Breitbart, Banks said, “Feigning PTSD in a press conference — in which you were seen giggling — because you disagree with the president on policy is not a thing and is disrespectful to our troops who come home from war suffering from symptoms like PTSD,” also known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“What’s even more shameful is today’s vote on the War Powers resolution,” Banks added in reference to a non-binding measure passed later in the day.
“This resolution intentionally ties the hands of the administration, who is working hard to prevent an endless war and protect U.S. armed forces,” he said.
Banks and Omar go back-and-forth
During the press conference, Omar had said, “I feel ill a little bit because of everything that is taking place. And I think every time I hear of conversations around war, I find myself being stricken with PTSD.”
Banks tweeted out a clip of Omar’s remarks, writing, “This is a disgrace and offensive to our nation’s veterans who really do have PTSD after putting their life on the line to keep America safe.”
Omar played the innocent victim and fired back, however, with a reference to her family’s escape from the Somali civil war in 1991 and temporary life in a refugee camp.
The congresswoman wrote, “Hi Jim, I survived war as a child and deal with post-traumatic stress disorder — much like many who have served or lived through war. It’s shameful that you as a member of Congress would erase the PTSD of survivors.”
Banks wasn’t about to let her off easy, though, and tweeted back at Omar again, this time sharing the clip of her giggling and smiling while Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) spoke somberly of the dead and injured during the Iraq War.
“No @IlhanMN — you can’t change the subject. Your words and actions at today’s press conference reveal your feelings toward our soldiers serving abroad and the video speaks for itself,” Banks wrote. Watch:
No @IlhanMN – you can’t change the subject.
Your words and actions at today’s press conference reveal your feelings toward our soldiers serving abroad and the video speaks for itself. 👇 https://t.co/T2OREUaIm6
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) January 9, 2020