Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarPence rips off Omar's "inadequate" apology for anti-Semitic Tweets Webb: Presidential candidates underscore the Democrats' strong downward move. Steve King urges GOP to reinstate its reject orders MORE (D-Minn.) Went up and down on Wednesday with Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams. He accused the diplomat of being a liar and urged him for his involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal and the killings during the Reagan administration.
,@IlhanMN "In 1991, you were guilty … of your involvement in Iran-Contra … I do not understand why [we] should find every testimony you give today to be truthful "
Elliott Abrams "It was an attack, it's not right to attack a witness who can not answer." pic.twitter.com/yQq3xYHGxm
– Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) February 13, 2019
"I do not understand why the members of this committee or the American people should consider the statements you give today to be true," she said in her first remarks to Abrams, who pled guilty to withholding evidence from Congress in Iran-Contra Scandal of the 1980s.
Abrams tried to protest, but Omar said she did not ask a question.
"It was an attack," Abrams answered.
Omar repeatedly urged Abrams on US involvement in Nicaragua and El Salvador during the Regan administration when the US supported the El Salvadoran military and Nicaraguan insurgents. Abrams then served as deputy foreign minister.
Omar specifically asked Abrams about his earlier comments on the El Mozote massacre, in which the Salvadoran military killed hundreds of civilians.
"You said later that US policy in El Salvador was a fabulous achievement, are you still thinking that way?" Asked Omar.
Abrams noted that since the Reagan administration, El Salvador has been a democracy for decades, calling it a "fabulous achievement."
"Do you think the massacre was a fabulous achievement?" Asked Omar.
"That's a ridiculous question," Abrams answered sharply. "I will not respond to this kind of personal attack, which is not a question."
Abrams continued to push as freshman Democrat challenged him during his time in the Regan administration in US policy in Central America.
"I will not answer that question," he said. "I'm sorry, I do not think this whole series of questions should be real questions, so I will not answer."
Omar finally got Abrams to answer a question when she asked if Abrams would see to it that human rights in Venezuela were upheld under US policy.
"The answer is that all American policy in Venezuela aims to support the efforts of the Venezuelan people to restore democracy in their country," he said. "That's our policy."
Asked if this includes protecting human rights, Abrams said, "This is always the position of the United States."
,@IlhanMN On the role of Elliott Abrams in Iran-Contra: "I can not understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony they give today as truthful."
(Abrams gets angry)
Omar: "That was not a question, thank you for your participation." pic.twitter.com/QBagSpOQXs
– Frank Dale (@fwdale) February 13, 2019
Abrams was appointed special envoy to Venezuela last month, shortly after the Trump administration recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's legitimate president. The move came as an increasing effort to pressure President Nicolas Maduro in the midst of an economic and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.
The controversial exchange on Wednesday was the slightest sensational moment for Omar in a difficult week for the freshman. After sending several tweets that were criticized as anti-Semitic on Sunday, she was put under the control of both parties, claiming that the legislature had supported Israel for financial reasons.
Omar apologized, but continued to receive criticism from President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchultz will not say if he will sell all Starbucks shares when he becomes president. Sarah Sanders cites El Chapo for security reasons for border security. Pence breaks Omar's "inadequate" apology for tweets that are criticized as anti-Semitic and other Republicans.
Omar's exchange with Abrams at the House House's Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Wednesday on the policies of the Trump administration in Venezuela was opened a bit awkwardly.
The Minnesota Democrat named Abrams as "Mr. Adams," and then cited his guilty plea of 1991 to withhold information from Congress while investigating the Iran-Contra incident.