Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended Rep. Ilhan Omar and declared that the fellow Squad member's comments last week equating the United States and Israel to Middle Eastern terrorist organizations were "mischaracterized."
In an interview with CNN's Dana Bash, the host pointed out that many Democrats called out Omar, saying that the remarks were "offensive and misguided."
"We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity," Omar wrote on Twitter last week. The post included a video of her questioning Secretary of State Antony Blinken. "We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban."
AOC responded to the backlash Omar received from fellow Democrats, posting on Twitter that she was "Pretty sick & tired of the constant vilification, intentional mischaracterization, and public targeting of @IlhanMN coming from our caucus. They have no concept for the danger they put her in by skipping private conversations & leaping to fueling targeted news cycles around her."
"First question is, what exactly did your fellow Democrats mischaracterize?" asked Bash. "And are you saying that they are to blame for some threats against her?"
"Well, I think, I believe that her comments were absolutely mischaracterized," said Ocasio-Cortez, adding: "She was very clearly speaking about the ICC investigations, which name these four actors in two suits. And they name them in context of events that happened in Afghanistan with the United States and the Taliban, and in Palestine with Hamas and the government of Israel."
"And we know that these very intense news cycles, which, by the way, started, this whole hubbub started with right-wing news outlets taking what she said out of context," the progressive New York representative continued. "And when we feed into that, it adds legitimacy to a lot of this kind of right-wing vitriol. It absolutely kind of increases that target. And as someone who has experienced that, it’s very difficult to communicate the scale and how dangerous that is."
Earlier in the same broadcast of State of the Union, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that the establishment Democrats did not rebuke Omar, adding that she was a "valued" member of the party.
Pelosi had defended Omar's comments during a press conference on Friday as well, acknowledging that no further action should be taken against Omar: "I think that she...clarified her remarks, and that was...we...accepted that...and she.... she has a point that she wanted to make, and she has a right to make that point."
"There was some unease about how it was interpreted; she made her clarification."
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