by Becket Adams · February 14, 2019
Vice President Mike Pence criticized Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., this week after she very clearly suggested wealthy Jews control Republicans in Congress.
That’s a problem, according to NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell. No, not the anti-Semitic congresswoman’s anti-Semitic tweets, but rather the vice president’s criticism.
Mitchell interviewed Pence Wednesday, and in the process tried to get him to agree that the real problem is not Omar’s continued peddling of anti-Semitic tropes, but rather his condemnation of it. Because Trump or something.
Rep. Omar, who has a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a non-apology apology Monday for having suggested that wealthy Jews dictate congressional Republicans’ support for Israel. The apology was surely offered only because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., twisted Omar’s arm. And that arm-twist is the only reprimand the Minnesota congresswoman will face from her caucus.
Pence’s office responded to Omar’s anti-Semitic remarks Tuesday, saying on social media that her “tweets were a disgrace & her apology was inadequate. Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress, much less the Foreign Affairs Committee. Those who engage in anti-Semitic tropes should not just be denounced, they should face consequences for their words.”
On Wednesday, Mitchell scolded the vice president for criticizing the congresswoman, leaning heavily on a line of reasoning that amounted to little more than “but some Republicans are bad, too.”
“I have to ask you about your tweet from the plane against Congresswoman Omar,” she said. “You read her out, we understand you want her to be kicked off the foreign affairs committee.”
She added, “At the same time, Republicans were very slow to go and punish Congressman Steve King of Iowa, who is historically critical of Hispanic-Americans. And the president’s Muslim ban. Can you understand how that creates a climate of toxicity in all directions?”
Pence responded to Mitchell’s claim that Republicans were slow to move on Rep. King by noting that the Iowa congressman was stripped of all committee assignments after his slide toward white supremacy. Omar, on the other hand, has faced no such disciplinary action.
Mitchell kept after it, asking again, “And what the President said about banning all Muslims in 2015?” Pence answered her by saying the ban did not discriminate against all Muslims.
Later, after the interview, Mitchell explained why she went after the “But Trump!” line during her interview with Pence, saying she “was trying to get at the whole issue of how Muslim-Americans have been discriminated against and have been categorized and profiled by this president when he was a candidate and since.”
She also explained that “there’s a very heavy overlay here of politics here as well. The truth is that Steven King, Congressman King was not punished by the Republicans until — for years when he was talking against Hispanic-Americans, only when he said the most recent things about white supremacism was he kicked off committees. So, there’s a big tortured history here.”
For good measure, she added one more thought in defense of Omar, saying, “You can criticize Israel without being anti-Semitic.”
This isn’t journalism. This is an active attempt to run interference for a specific political party.
Washington Examiner · by Becket Adams · February 14, 2019