Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar publicly shared a violent and threatening voicemail from an unnamed person that she received after Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert's anti-Muslim remarks about the Minnesota Democrat.
The message, which her office received Monday, illustrated the pattern of Islamophobia Omar faces as one of only three Muslim members of Congress.
Omar said Tuesday that she has "reported hundreds of threats on my life often triggered by Republican attacks on my faith," and added that she's seen an increase this week. The voicemail included anti-Muslim attacks, called Omar a racial slur and a traitor and said she "will not live much longer."
"It is time for the Republican Party to actually do something to confront anti-Muslim hatred in its ranks and hold those who perpetuate it accountable," Omar said.
The Associated Press reported that House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy was asked Tuesday about the prospect of a Democratic-led effort to censure Boebert. McCarthy said: "After she apologized personally and publicly? I'd vote against it."
Boebert, a conservative freshman lawmaker from Colorado, defended herself and leveled more attacks on Omar during an appearance Tuesday night on Laura Ingraham's Fox News show. "Omar and the left don't want an apology. They want public humiliation. They want to cancel me, but that's not going to happen," said Boebert.
After Ingraham played audio of the Tuesday night press conference, Boebert said she is not anti-Muslim and noted that it was Omar who "brought up a man who was calling with death threats."
"And I fully believe that that man needs to be found by Capitol Police and held fully accountable, just like the men who have called with death threats against my family, against my staff, my restaurant, all in the past few days," Boebert said. "They need to be found and held accountable."
Outcry toward Boebert grew last week after a viral video showed her describing a scene on an elevator where a Capitol Police officer ran her way.
"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 said to her audience, some of whom applauded. Boebert added, "and I said, 'Oh look, the jihad squad decided to show up for work today.'"
House Democratic leaders condemned the remarks in a statement Friday, and called on "Boebert to fully retract these comments and refrain from making similar ones going forward."
Omar said the elevator encounter never happened. Boebert tweeted before the Democratic leaders' statement on Friday that "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."
The situation appeared to grow more tense after Omar and Boebert spoke by phone on Monday. Omar said afterwards she was hoping for a direct apology, while Boebert said in a video about the call that she "told Ilhan Omar that she should make a public apology to the American people for her anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-police rhetoric."
Omar, now in her second term, has also been the subject of controversy for comments that have drawn criticism from both Republicans and Democrats in the past.
CNN reported Tuesday that Boebert also made anti-Muslim comments at a September event in New York. In a video posted on Facebook, Boebert can be heard calling Omar and Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib "black-hearted, evil women." Later in the video, Boebert tells a similar elevator story about Omar, including the backpack reference.
"When a sitting member of Congress calls a colleague 'member of the jihad squad,' and falsifies a story to suggest that I will blow up the Capitol, it is not just [an] attack on me, but on millions of American Muslims across this country," Omar said on Tuesday.
Omar was joined at Tuesday's press conference by Tlaib and Democratic Rep. André Carson of Indiana, the other Muslim members of Congress. Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman was also there.
"We are committed to ensuring a real consequence for dangerous statements that fuel bigotry and incite violence, especially when it's coming from one of our own colleagues," Carson said.
But what action the Democratic-controlled House might take remains an open question.
"This kind of hateful rhetoric and actions cannot go without punishment," Omar said. "There has to be accountability."