Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar defended her outspoken approach as a new member of Congress in an appearance Wednesday night on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”
Omar, who appeared as a guest along with CNN’s Anderson Cooper and English actress Ruth Wilson, received a warm welcome from the audience.
A friendly Colbert dove right into the controversies Omar has found herself embroiled in, including her admonishment by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others over alleged anti-Semitic comments shortly after she took office.
“The whole process really has been one of growth for me, right,” she admitted, saying that she’s had to learn a lot about the importance of historical context. “I’m learning that everything is not as simple as we might think. As I’ve said to my constituents and my colleagues, when you tell me that you are pained by something I say, I will always listen and I will acknowledge your pain.”
In return, she said, “It’s the same that I expect ...when people say I was already married [a false accusation that she had married her own brother] or that I don’t support America or when people call me a terrorist, I expect you to call that out, too.
“I took an oath to uphold the Constitution. I am as American as everyone else is,” she said.
Omar said that largely because she is a Muslim and a woman, she has been subjected to a “double standard,” harshly condemned by the right for her words and views when far more questionable and outright racist things are said on “Fox and Friends” and other talk shows and they “don’t get called out.”
“We are not there to be quiet,” she said of herself and fellow congressional newcomers and activists Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. “We are there to follow the lead of people like congressman John Lewis and make good trouble.”
You watch an extended version of the interview here: