Politico Reporter Fires Back After Rep. Ilhan Omar Claims Obama Comments ‘Distorted’
On Friday, controversial Democratic Congresswoman Ihlan Omar blamed the media for distorting her remarks about former President Barack Obama.
“Exhibit A of how reporters distort words. I’m an Obama fan! I was saying how [President] Trump is different from Obama, and why we should focus on policy not politics,” she tweeted.
Exhibit A of how reporters distort words.
I’m an Obama fan! I was saying how Trump is different from Obama, and why we should focus on policy not politics.
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) March 8, 2019
She also included audio from the interview.
Earlier today, Politico reported Omar said this:
As she saw it, the party ostensibly committed to progressive values had become complicit in perpetuating the status quo. Omar says the “hope and change” offered by Barack Obama was a mirage. Recalling the “caging of kids” at the U.S.-Mexico border and the “droning of countries around the world” on Obama’s watch, she argues that the Democratic president operated within the same fundamentally broken framework as his Republican successor.
“We can’t be only upset with Trump. … His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was,” Omar says. “And that’s not what we should be looking for anymore. We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.”
The content of Omar’s Soundcloud clip does not vary dramatically from Politico’s reporting.
Politico’s Tim Alberta, who sat down with Omar for the interview, responded to the Congresswoman’s Twitter accusations, writing: “Next time, a phone call from your office before the Twitter ambush would be appreciated.”
Exhibit A of how politicians use the media as a straw man to avoid owning what they said.
Your tape…supports what I wrote 100%. So does my longer tape. It's beyond dispute.
Next time, a phone call from your office before the Twitter ambush would be appreciated. https://t.co/eb2grgn5Cd
— Tim Alberta (@TimAlberta) March 8, 2019
Likewise, some reporters have come out in defense of Politico.
“If one of my reporters filed that story and then I heard @Ilhan’s tape, I would say they … had quite accurately described and contextualized her position,” Nate Silver, the editor-in-chief of FiveThirtyEight wrote on Twitter.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) March 8, 2019
HuffPost’s Ashley Feinberg also agreed the quote was presented fairly.
i mean, it sounds like politico presented the quote perfectly in context — and it was an great quote so i'm not sure what the issue is https://t.co/ygAty1eCYc
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) March 8, 2019
UPDATE –– 3/9, 11:45 am ET: Omar’s tweet has since been deleted.
[image via screengrab]
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