In the wake of offensive comments, Rep. Boebert called Rep. Omar to talk — neither is happy with how it went

Stina Sieg/CPR News
Rep. Lauren Boebert speaks with reporters during a press conference with Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland in Grand Junction on Friday, July 23, 2021. Behind her are Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Joe Negeuse.

Colorado Republican Lauren Boebert said she called her Democratic colleague, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Monday to discuss Boebert’s joke describing Omar as a potential terrorist.

The brief call appears to have done nothing to mend fences.

“Today, I graciously accepted a call from Rep. Lauren Boebert in the hope of receiving 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,” Omar said in a statement. “Instead of apologizing for her Islamophobic comments and fabricated lies, Rep. Boebert refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments. She instead doubled down on her rhetoric and I decided to end the unproductive call.”

In a video posted to her personal Instagram account, Boebert said the two went back and forth over whether her Tweet saying she was sorry if her comments had offended anyone was a sufficient apology.

“As a strong Christian woman who values faith deeply, I never want anything I say to offend someone's religion,” Boebert said in the recording. “Even after I put out a public statement to that effect, she said that she still wanted a public apology because what I had done wasn't good enough.”

Boebert claims she then told Omar that the Minnesota Democrat should “make a public apology to the American people for her anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-police rhetoric.”

For her part, Omar again called for Republican House leaders to take action over Boebert’s comments.

“To date, the Republican Party leadership has done nothing to condemn and hold their own members accountable for repeated instances of anti-Muslim hate and harassment. This is not about one hateful statement or one politician; it is about a party that has mainstreamed bigotry and hatred,” her statement read.

Other elements of the now-viral Boebert event have brought her criticism, including a joke mocking Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg for taking parental leave and her T-shirt, which made light of the accidental shooting of a cinematographer on the Rust film set last month.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told CNN in an earlier statement that he had spoken with Boebert last week and worked with Democratic leaders to facilitate her call with Omar, but did not specifically condemn her remarks.

Boebert’s offensive story about Omar came after her controversial comments during the debate over censuring Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, in which she also used the phrase, “Jihad squad.”

On Monday the Council on Islamic Relations, the country’s largest Muslim civil rights organization, dismissed Boebert’s original apology as “half-hearted” and said that if Republican leaders would not condemn her, Democrats should pursue a censure.