Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Thursday called out Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) for sharing a “made up” exchange in which Boebert claimed to have made a vile, anti-Muslim joke while the two women shared an elevator at work.
While campaigning in Colorado over the Thanksgiving break, Boebert boasted that she was recently in a Capitol elevator with a staffer when a concerned Capitol police officer rushed over, according to right-wing extremism monitoring site Patriot Takes.
“I look to my left and there she is. Ilhan Omar,” Boebert said in a clip posted by the group. “I say, well, she doesn’t have a backpack, we should be fine.”
She then claimed that she also looked over to Omar and said, “Oh look, the Jihad squad decided to show up for work today.”
Omar is one of the first two Muslim women in Congress.
According to Omar, the entire story was fiction.
“Fact, this buffoon looks down when she sees me at the Capitol, this whole story is made up,” she tweeted. “Sad she thinks bigotry gets her clout.”
Boebert sent an apology tweet Friday afternoon.
“I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar,” the Colorado congresswoman said, noting that she was trying to contact Omar’s office to speak with her directly.
“There are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction,” she wrote.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) said Boebert’s comments had been shameful, deeply offensive and dangerous.
“Yet another blatant display of Islamophobia targeting Omar,” she tweeted. “These comments are personally hurtful, legitimately endanger her & the broader Muslim community. Rhetoric like this must be denounced & anyone spewing it held to account.”
Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., tagged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in a tweet and called for action.
“We can’t ignore this hate and fear mongering. It just SHOULD NOT be allowed for a member of the U.S. Congress to believe or share such abhorrent ideology,” she wrote.
Boebert sparked uproar last week when she called Omar a member of the “Jihad squad” while speaking on the House floor. She has since repeated this anti-Muslim bigotry about other members of the so-called Squad, a group of progressive House Democrats of color including Omar.
Boebert returned to her home state of Colorado over the Thanksgiving break. Over the weekend, she campaigned at the Tanner Gun Show in Pueblo, wearing an offensive shirt that said “Guns don’t kill people, Alec Baldwin does.”