U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar is facing a new round of controversy following comments in an interview that implied that former President Barack Obama’s political prowess helped him get “away with murder.”
Omar accused the Politico reporter of misrepresenting her quotes and posted an audio snippet of the interview that ultimately corroborated the newsmagazine’s reporting.
She has since deleted the combative tweet.
The Twitter scuffle began on Friday, after Politico published an extensive profile highlighting Omar and fellow Minnesota freshman Rep. Dean Phillips’ vision for the future of their party.
She told Politico that the Obama administration was also responsible for the “droning” of countries around the world and the “caging of kids” at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“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,” she said. “And that’s not what we should be looking for anymore. 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.”
Hours later, as the article was starting to go viral, Omar tweeted: “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,” she wrote, including a linked sound bite. The audio validated her quotes from the story verbatim.
Tim Alberta, chief political correspondent for Politico Magazine, quickly fired back.
“Exhibit A of how politicians use the media as a straw man to avoid owning what they said,” he tweeted. “Your tape … supports what I wrote 100%. So does my longer tape. It’s beyond dispute.”
The exchange comes in the midst of a continued firestorm over Omar’s recent comments about Israel that many have deemed anti-Semitic.
Fallout from Omar’s public remarks reverberated through the U.S. Capitol in recent days, dividing top Democrats as they scrambled to respond.
Republicans once again called for her to be stripped of her position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Instead, Congress on Thursday overwhelmingly voted to condemn hate in all its forms.