Dem Leaders Defend Tlaib: Republicans ‘Owe Her An Apology’

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 21:  U.S. House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) speaks to the media December 21, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The House Democratic leaders responded to the accusations from the House Republicans of not forming a panel to negotiate the payroll tax cut extension bill, after the House rejected the version approved by the Senate.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 21: U.S. House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) speaks to the media December 21, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The House Democratic leaders responded to the accusations from ... WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 21: U.S. House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) speaks to the media December 21, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The House Democratic leaders responded to the accusations from the House Republicans of not forming a panel to negotiate the payroll tax cut extension bill, after the House rejected the version approved by the Senate. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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May 13, 2019 2:49 p.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) on Monday rejected Republicans’ demand that they condemn Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) for her comment on the Holocaust.

“Republicans’ desperate attempts to smear @RepRashida & misrepresent her comments are outrageous,” Pelosi tweeted. “President @realDonaldTrump & House GOP should apologize to Rep. Tlaib & the American people for their gross misrepresentations.”

Hoyer’s response struck a similar tone.

“If you read Rep. Tlaib’s comments, it is clear that President Trump and Congressional Republicans are taking them out of context,” the House majority leader said to The Hill. “They must stop, and they owe her an apology.”

GOP leaders, including President Donald Trump and House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), have been attacking Tlaib after she commented on Palestinians’ role in creating a “safe haven” for Jews after the Holocaust.

“There’s, you know, there’s a kind of a calming feeling, I always tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors, Palestinians, who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence, in many ways, had been wiped out, just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time,” she said.

Tlaib’s overall point seemed to be that she was proud that her ancestors’ homeland provided a safe haven for Jews after the tragedy of the Holocaust even if it came at great cost to the Palestinians themselves.

As Pelosi and Hoyer pointed out, Trump and other Republicans are twisting her “calming feeling” remark to mean that she approved of the Holocaust.

It’s a similar situation to the one fellow Muslim congresswoman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) had to deal with last month when conservatives attacked her for saying “some people did something” in reference to 9/11, though it was part of a speech on the threats to Muslim Americans’ civil liberties after the terrorist attacks.

This story has been updated to include Pelosi’s response.

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