White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed Wednesday that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), notorious for her antisemitic rhetoric, has foreign policy “expertise” and therefore should keep her House committee seat.
Jean-Pierre was responding to a decision Wednesday by Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to kick Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) off the House Intelligence Committee for security reasons.
“Representative Schiff, Representative Swalwell, and also Representative Omar, are [sic] expertise and bring a lot to the table when it comes to foreign policy and national security,” Jean-Pierre said, adding: “Those congressional members bring a lot of expertise to that [sic] committee.”
She appeared to conflate the House Intelligence Committee, whose members have access to classified information, with ordinary committees.
Omar sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where she was placed by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) upon her arrival in Congress in 2019, despite a lengthy history of radical anti-Israel and antisemitic statements.
Pelosi resisted pressure to remove Omar from the committee, though Omar, a Somali refugee, had no other foreign policy experience. She continued to use her position to advocate for, and defend, boycotts of Israel.
The Speaker has the power to reject nominees for the Intelligence Committee and other select committees. It would require a full vote of the House to remove Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, however.
Democrats set new precedents in 2021 when Pelosi rejected McCarthy’s nominees for the January 6 Committee and when Democrats held a vote to kick newly-elected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) off her committees.
Jean-Pierre has her own anti-Israel history. As spokesperson for radical, left-wing MoveOn.org, she praised Democratic presidential candidates who boycotted the conference of AIPAC, a mainstream pro-Israel group.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
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