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Tensions escalate in House over Rep. Boebert's 'Islamophobic' comments

Tensions escalate in House over Rep. Boebert's 'Islamophobic' comments
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., is shown speaking during a House Freedom Caucus press conference on November 3. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Strained partisan relations in the House of Representatives worsened Monday following a tense phone call between feuding members Republican Lauren Boebert and Democrat Ilhan Omar.

Minnesota congresswoman Omar issued a statement saying she ended the call with her Colorado counterpart when Boebert refused to issue a public apology for comparing her to a bomb-carrying Islamic terrorist and calling her a member of the "jihad squad" in a video made public last week.

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Boebert, meanwhile, said in a Instagram video posted Monday that she asked Omar to make a public apology "for her anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-police rhetoric" during the call, which the Minnesota lawmaker said was initiated by Boebert.

In her statement, Omar said she had hoped to "receive a direct apology for falsely claiming she met me in an elevator, suggesting I was a terrorist and for a history of anti-Muslim hate.

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"Instead of apologizing for her Islamophobic comments and fabricated lies, Rep. Boebert refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments," she wrote. "She instead doubled down on her rhetoric and I decided to end the unproductive call."

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Omar called on House minority leader Kevin McCarthy "to actually hold his party accountable."

The fiery dispute over comments made by a conservative House Republican is the second within a month. The House voted on Nov. 17 to censure Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona for tweeting an animated video of Democratic lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez being killed.

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Gosar was stripped of his committee assignments for natural resources, and oversight and reform.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week sharply condemned Boebert's "ongoing and targeted Islamophobic comments" toward Omar, calling them "both deeply offensive and concerning."

But rather than seeking to censure Boebert, Pelosi instead urged McCarthy "to address this priority with the congresswoman and to finally take real action to confront racism."

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