During an interview with Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” that aired on May 10, Pence was asked about his view on the freshman congresswoman—who has made headlines over the past several months for controversial statements.
“Look, Ilhan Omar has made statements, antisemitic comments, statements against our most cherished ally, Israel, that ought to be rejected by every American,” Pence said. “And frankly the fact that very recently she has been trying to blame the United States of America for the deprivation and poverty brought on by the dictatorship in Venezuela.”
Omar drew widespread condemnation for perpetuating anti-Semitic tropes on Twitter, where she implied that a prominent pro-Israel lobby group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), paid off lawmakers for their support of Israel. She later sparked more outrage when she accused some politicians in Washington who supported Israel as having dual loyalty. The freshman congresswoman has since apologized for her comments.
She subsequently apologized for the social media posts after attracting criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. Additionally, the House passed a watered-down resolution in March that was meant to censure Omar’s comments but failed to mention the congresswoman’s name.
More recently, Omar came under fire again for blaming the United States for the collapse of Venezuela under illegitimate dictator Nicolás Maduro.
“A lot of the policies that we have put in place has kind of helped lead the devastation in Venezuela,” Omar said during an interview with the left-leaning Democracy Now! program. “And we’ve sort of set the stage for where we’re arriving today.”
She continued, “This particular bullying and the use of sanctions to eventually intervene and make regime change really does not help the people of countries like Venezuela, and it certainly does not help and is not in the interest of the United States.”
Following her comments on the program, Pence expressed his disbelief that Omar had chosen “socialism over freedom” in a tweet last week.
“As Venezuelans take to the streets to stand for their freedom against an oppressive dictator, Democrat Congresswoman IlhanMN chooses socialism over freedom. The Trump Administration stands with the freedom-loving people of Venezuela,” Pence wrote on Twitter.
As Venezuelans take to the streets to stand for their freedom against an oppressive dictator, Democrat Congresswoman @IlhanMN chooses socialism over freedom. The Trump Administration stands with the freedom-loving people of Venezuela. https://t.co/UYiPLPvKl5
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) May 2, 2019
In the Fox & Friends interview, Pence said Omar’s speech and actions should be judged by the people of Minnesota.
“The people of Minnesota will decide whether or not she remains in Congress,” he said. “Congresswoman Omar has no place on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Democratic leadership ought to remove her.”
Along with Pence, President Donald Trump previously called for her resignation from the committee after she made controversial comments about Israel.
“Her lame apology, and that’s what it was, it was lame, and she didn’t mean a word of it was just not appropriate. I think she should resign from Congress,” Trump said earlier in the year.
President Trump on Rep. @IlhanMN: “Her lame apology, and that’s what it was, it was lame, and she didn’t mean a word of it was just not appropriate. I think she should resign from Congress.” pic.twitter.com/6rbPUDdFuz
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 12, 2019
Omar’s Ties with Radical Anti-US Group
Omar’s links with the far-left group Witness for Peace previously raised some questions about her suitability to serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, when it was revealed in February this year that she had traveled with the group to Honduras in 2017 while she was serving in the Minnesota state legislature.
The organization was formed during the Reagan administration to oppose U.S. policies aimed to stop the spread of communism, it also supports Cuban and Venezuelan socialism.
Omar tweeted about the trip in 2017, saying “after traveling to Honduras as part of the Witness for Peace delegation, I’ve returned home with a heavy heart and deep concern for the electoral process and human rights crisis the people of Honduras are enduring.” Shortly afterward, she began urging Congress to end all military and security aid to Honduras.
Trevor Loudon, an expert on Marxist groups and the radical left who is a contributor to The Epoch Times, said in a previous interview that the group has been supporting revolutionary movements in Latin America since the Reagan era.
“Witness for Peace was there trying to help the revolutionary groups that the American government was trying to suppress. They were working directly to help foreign enemies of America against this country,” he said.
“[They were] sort of an alliance of the religious left, the hard Marxist left, Latin America’s revolutionary movements who are militantly opposed to America.”
He said it was concerning that Omar attended the travel delegation not long before she was elected to Congress and while she was serving in the Minnesota state legislature.
“Ilhan Omar is connected to many socialist groups in Minnesota but this one is international in scope and very well connected to active revolutionary movements who are working to cause trouble in America,” he said.
“Basically, she has put her loyalty to the revolutionary groups in Latin America over her loyalty to the United States. So how can she be trusted with secrets? How can she be trusted to not promote their policies?”