Rep. Lauren Boebert apologizes to Muslims for referring to Rep. Ilhan Omar as a 'terrorist.'
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) issued a half-hearted apology on Friday for a videotaped anti-Muslim remark in which she referred to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) as a suspected suicide bomber.
Boebert made the statements during the holiday break, according to a video footage uploaded by a Twitter account named PatriotTakes. In it, she claims that she and a staff member were boarding a Capitol elevator when an agitated Capitol police officer approached them. She stated that she shifted her gaze to her left and noticed Omar standing alongside them.
"Well, she is not carrying a backpack. We should be alright," Boebert recalls telling her audience, eliciting laughter. "And I remarked, 'Look, the jihad squad has decided to report for duty today.'"
Boebert did not answer Omar's claim that Boebert made up her version regarding the interaction at the United States Capitol in her admission of events.
"I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community whom my remark regarding Rep. Omar may have affected," Boebert tweeted. "I have contacted her office in order to speak with her directly."
Boebert described the controversy as a "unnecessary diversion" and expressed a desire to return to policy debates.
"There are numerous policy distinctions to highlight," Boebert remarked.
The ardent Trump supporter refused to apologize directly to Omar, increasing the likelihood that she believes there was some justification for her Islamophobic remark.
Omar, one of only two Muslim women in Congress, accused Boebert of fabricating the entire encounter and being an outspoken anti-Muslim bigot who avoids eye contact with her whenever they cross paths.
"Anti-Muslim hatred is not amusing and should never be accepted," Omar added. "Congress cannot be a haven for racist and harmful Muslim clichés."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations slammed Boebert's remarks in a Friday statement, urging Republican House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy and other GOP officials to reject them.
Boebert and Omar did not immediately return phone calls and emails seeking comment Friday.