A video surfaced of Lauren Boebert telling a story about riding in an elevator with Ilhan Omar.
“Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine,” Boebert said.
Omar and several other House members reacted swiftly, accusing Boebert of Islamophobia.
Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado is being accused of Islamophobia after telling a story implying that Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota was a terrorist.
A video posted on Twitter on Thursday by PatriotTakes — an organization that researches and monitors “the extremism and radicalization of the far right” — showed Boebert at a campaign event recounting a supposed run-in with Omar at the US Capitol where they both work in the House of Representatives.
Boebert said she stepped onto an elevator with Omar on her way back to her office after a vote, prompting a Capitol Police officer to run towards the elevator with “fret all over his face.” Boebert describes being confused about the encounter before noticing Omar standing in the elevator with her.
“Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine,” Boebert said she told the officer.
Boebert said she then turned to Omar and added, “Oh look, the Jihad Squad decided to show up for work today.” “Jihad Squad” is a derisive term for the Squad, a group of six progressive members of Congress who are all people of color.
Omar responded to the video on Twitter, denying the story while calling Boebert a “buffoon” and saying the far-right Colorado congresswoman “looks down when she sees me at the Capitol.”
“This whole story is made up. Sad she thinks bigotry gets her clout,” Omar continued. “Anti-Muslim bigotry isn’t funny & shouldn’t be normalized. Congress can’t be a place where hateful and dangerous Muslims tropes get no condemnation.”
This is not the first time the two congresswomen have clashed. During a debate over the censure of Rep. Paul Gosar last week, Boebert referred to Omar as being part of the “Jihad Squad.” Omar reacted by saying Boebert “sleeps with a pervert” and “shamefully defecates & defiles the House of Representatives.”
Omar was apparently referencing a 2004 incident where Boebert’s future husband was sentenced to four days in jail after exposing himself to two women at a bowling alley.
Other Democrats joined in the criticism of Boebert’s remarks.
“These pathetic racist lies will not only endanger the life of [Omar], but will increase hate crimes towards Muslims,” Rep. Rashida Tlaib wrote on Twitter. “The continued silence & inaction towards this hate-filled colleague and others is enabling violence. It must stop.”
Tlaib and Omar are the first Muslim women to be elected to Congress.
“Capitol Hill is a toxic work environment for Muslim members and staff when bigots routinely spew racist, Islamophobic vitriol unchecked and with no consequence,” fellow Squad member Rep. Cori Bush said on Twitter. “We love you, and we pray for your well-being and protection from this despicable abuse.”
Rep. Ayanna Pressley echoed the sentiment.
“Shameful, deeply offensive & dangerous. Yet another blatant display of Islamophobia targeting [Omar],” she wrote on Twitter. “These comments are personally hurtful, legitimately endanger her & the broader Muslim community. Rhetoric like this must be denounced & anyone spewing it held to account.”
And on Friday morning, GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger made the condemnation bipartisan.
“Boebert is TRASH,” he tweeted.
Boebert’s office did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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