Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has once again proved she might not be ready for the national stage. When she made a mistake in Minnesota, it was buried in local papers. But at the U.S. congressional level, her mishaps are the leading story on the 6:00 p.m. national news.
This time, Omar claimed a reporter from Politico had “distorted” her criticism of former President Barack Obama. But when she released her own audio of the interview, it just showed the reporter got it right.
When the story first broke that Omar had trashed Obama in an interview with Politico’s Tim Alberta, the freshman congresswoman went on social media and blamed the reporter.
“Exhibit A of how reporters distort words. I’m an Obama fan! I was saying how Trump is different from Obama, and why we should focus on policy not politics. This is why I always tape my interviews,” Omar wrote on Twitter, and attached her audio of the interview.
But Omar must not have listened to the interview in full before she released it, because it proved the reporter right. Alberta fired back on Twitter. “Your tape…supports what I wrote 100%. So does my longer tape. It’s beyond dispute. Next time, a phone call from your office before the Twitter ambush would be appreciated,” he wrote.
Exhibit A of how politicians use the media as a straw man to avoid owning what they said.
Your tape…supports what I wrote 100%. So does my longer tape. It’s beyond dispute.
Next time, a phone call from your office before the Twitter ambush would be appreciated. https://t.co/eb2grgn5Cd
— Tim Alberta (@TimAlberta) March 8, 2019
Unable to argue with that, Omar quickly deleted her tweet. The audio is still available on Soundcloud and was captured by various media outlets.
Omar was already in hot water for repeatedly reviving anti-Semitic tropes in the last few weeks. The Politico interview got her into even more trouble for her scathing criticism of Obama.
Omar told Alberta that some “bad” Trump administration policies are basically a continuation of Obama’s policies. She further suggested that the only reason Obama got away with as much as he did was because he was “polished” and had a “pretty face” and smile.
“You know I will talk about the family separation or caging of kids and people will point out that this was Trump — I mean this was Obama. I mean I’ll say something about the droning of countries around the world and people will say that was Obama. And all of that is very true,” she said, according to the audio recording.
“We can’t be only upset with Trump. … His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was. And that’s not what we should be looking for anymore,” she told Alberta. “We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.”
These comments will not sit well with Democratic leadership, but the question remains if they will do anything about it. Their reponse, however, could be the least of her problems. Omar could singlehandedly be costing the Democrats the next election.
Even more annoying for her party is that Omar is attracting negative media coverage to the Democrats instead of President Donald Trump.