Eliza Collins, Wall Street Journal, November 26, 2021
GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert apologized to Muslims on Friday for a joke casting Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar as a possible suicide bomber that drew heavy criticism, with the top Republican in the House stepping in to try to tamp down the controversy.
The Boebert controversy emerged on Thanksgiving Day. In remarks to supporters that circulated on social media, Ms. Boebert said she was getting into an elevator when a Capitol Police officer ran toward her with “fret all over his face,” but the doors closed before he could get there. The Colorado lawmaker said she saw Ms. Omar was next to her in the elevator and thought: “Well, she doesn’t have a backpack, we should be fine.” She said she then said to Ms. Omar: “Oh look, the Jihad squad decided to show up for work today.”
Ms. Boebert issued an apology on Friday and said she had reached out to Ms. Omar to speak with her directly. “I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar,” she tweeted. “There are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction.”
Ms. Omar, one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, said the story fueled anti-Muslim bigotry and endangered her personally, and she called on Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) to take appropriate action.
“Fact, this buffoon looks down when she sees me at the Capitol, this whole story is made up. Sad she thinks bigotry gets her clout,” the Minnesota congresswoman tweeted. “Congress can’t be a place where hateful and dangerous Muslims tropes get no condemnation.”