House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) urged Republicans Tuesday to “cleanse” themselves of what he called “toxic” conduct amid an ongoing war of words between conservative Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and far-left Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
Boebert tweeted an apology last week after video posted to Twitter showed her telling a story implying that Omar had been mistaken for a terrorist by a Capitol police officer.
“I said, ‘Well, she [Omar] doesn’t have a backpack, we should be fine,’” said Boebert, laughing with her audience.
Hoyer told reporters Tuesday that Boebert’s remarks were part of a “pattern” among GOP lawmakers.
“It’s particularly concerning because it inflames … the passions of people who then convert words into dangerous, threatening and harmful actions,” he said, according to The Hill. “That’s why this conduct is so reprehensible and dangerous.”
“Hopefully, the Republican Party and its leadership itself would take direct action to cleanse itself from this toxic kind of conduct that its members are pursuing,” Hoyer added.
Hoyer spoke one day after a call meant to smooth things over between Boebert and Omar went off the rails, with Omar saying Boebert had “doubled down on her rhetoric” and Boebert saying Omar had “hung up on me.”
It was not immediately clear whether House Democrats would seek to punish Boebert, though Hoyer said Tuesday leadership was “considering what action ought to be taken.” Earlier this month, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) was censured and stripped of his committee assignments after he tweeted an anime video depicting him attacking progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and President Biden. In February, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) was removed from her committees over past statements promoting conspiracy theories like QAnon and the “9/11 truth” movement.
After Gosar was censured, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) warned that Democrats would likely face retribution if Republicans regained control of the House, as expected, after next year’s midterm elections.
Meanwhile, several GOP lawmakers have come to Boebert’s defense.
Greene also stood up for Boebert, slamming fellow Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) after she condemned the Colorado lawmaker’s comments.
“[email protected] is the trash in the GOP Conference. Never attacked by Democrats or RINO’s (same thing) because she is not conservative, she’s pro-abort,” Greene wrote. “Mace you can back up off of @laurenboebert or just go hang with your real gal pals, the Jihad Squad. Your out of your league.”
Even former President Donald Trump took a swipe at Omar on Tuesday.
“Congresswoman Ilhan Omar should apologize for marrying her brother, committing large-scale immigration and election fraud, wishing death to Israel, and for essentially abandoning her former country, which doesn’t even have a government—Exactly what she’d like to see for the United States!” Trump said in an emailed statement.
Widespread reports that Omar married her brother first emerged in early 2020, when it was revealed that the FBI was investigating the allegation.
In 2009, Omar married British citizen Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, who was rumored to be her brother. Their marriage was suggested to be a sham in order for him to obtain a green card and study in America. The two split in 2011 and officially divorced in 2017.
The congresswoman has slammed the reports, calling them “fake news stories.”