Congresswoman Ilhan Omar blasted a reporter who quoted her as saying that Barack Obama “got away with murder” on drone strikes, though audio released by Omar herself seems to confirm that her quote was correct.
The freshman lawmaker has drawn controversy for criticism of Israel’s influence in American politics that some painted as anti-Semitic and now for a quote in Politico Magazine that appeared to imply that Barack Obama get a pass for destructive policies because he had a “pretty face.” Omar herself seemed to backtrack, blaming the reporter in a tweet where she claimed that her words were purposely twisted, but then released audio that many believed instead confirmed the quote was legitimate and reported properly.
“I was saying how Trump is different from Obama, and why we should focus on policy not politics. This is why I always tape my interviews,” Omar wrote on Twitter.
In the interview, Omar was saying that she believes it is right to criticize the policies of President Donald Trump but also admitted that many are not proud about the way Democratic leaders have conducted themselves. She pointed out that while criticizing Trump for “family separation or caging of kids” that it was Trump responsible, but also “this was Obama” as well. She added that Obama also was responsible for “droning countries around the world.”
In a quote that many then took to be a continuation of her criticism of Obama, Omar said that many who came before Trump had policies that were just as bad as his, but got away with it because they were more polished politicians who could avoid public criticism.
“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 so that we can understand the kind of negative impact, or positive impact they will have on us for generations to come,” she said.
Omar later posted her audio of the interview after claiming that her words were distorted, but it showed that she had been quoted accurately. Many, including the Daily Mail, noted that the audio seemed to confirm the reporter’s interpretation of her words.
As ABC News noted, criticizing Barack Obama would likely not put Ilhan Omar in well with the majority of Democrats. The report pointed out that Obama remains one of the most popular figures in the past 70 years of the party, noting a March 2018 Quinnpiac Poll that showed 49 percent of Democrats rank Obama as the best president since World War II.