Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., defended colleague Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., amid criticism over tweets that were widely condemned as anti-Semitic.
On Sunday, Omar suggested on Twitter that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s support for Israel was bought by groups like AIPAC. Her tweets were swiftly condemned on both sides of the aisle, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other top Democrats.
Appearing on CNN, Rep. Connolly refrained from criticizing Omar and instead invoked Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, for his controversial remarks defending terms like “white nationalism” and “white supremacy.”
“I make a huge distinction between Omar and say someone like Steve King, who has been around for decades. Steve King’s been saying horrible, racist things for a long time and, you know, there was crickets, total silence on the Republican side of the aisle about it until very recently. All of a sudden, they were shocked — he was talking about white supremacism,” Connolly told CNN anchor Don Lemon.
“Omar is a freshman. She’s new here, she’s young. I think she has learned a painful lesson that the words you use through whatever what medium can be painful and can be hurtful and will have consequences. So hopefully moving forward, this is a valuable lesson she has learned and she’ll seek counsel and be far more careful about how she expresses herself.”
Connolly then slammed McCarthy, saying it’s “a bit much” for him to be “throwing stones from his own glass house” in reference to a deleted tweet that went after mega-donors Tom Steyer, George Soros, and Michael Bloomberg, all Jewish, accusing them of wanting to “buy” the 2018 midterms last fall.