GOP Senator James Lankford Accepts Omar Ilhan’s Apology: It Was ‘Entirely Appropriate’


Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) told CNN this morning he accepts Rep. Omar Ilhan’s (D-MN) apology for her controversial tweets about the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC.

“I do accept Rep. Omar’s apology and I think it’s entirely appropriate,” the GOP lawmaker said during an appearance on New Day.

“She’s a brand-new, freshman representative. Sometimes, you get out there and you say things and then you try to correct it,” Lankford added. “For any of us that are on television, like right now, you get questions, you make responses or you put out a tweet trying to be funny or to try to press a point, and sometimes you go over the line.”

Ilhan released the following apology statement on Monday after some accused her of promoting antisemitic tropes in her criticism of AIPAC:

“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes. My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.”

However, she did not back off from her opposition to pro-Israel lobbying, saying, “I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry. It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it.”

Despite the apology, Ilhan’s double-down against AIPAC resulted in top Republicans pushing for her removal. This week, President Donald Trump called for her to resign from Congress and Vice President Mike Pence pushed for her to step down from the House Foreign Affairs Committee after calling her apology “inadequate.”

Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called for the Minnesota lawmaker to apologize for “anti-Semitic tropes,” but Ilhan’s Democratic critics have quieted down since her apology.

Watch above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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Caleb Ecarma was a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma