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Lauren Boebert apologizes after suicide bomber comment directed at Muslim U.S. rep

Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert apologized on Twitter on Friday morning after a video of her implying that Ilhan Omar, a fellow member of Congress and a Muslim, could be a suicide bomber circulated on the social media site on Thanksgiving.

Boebert, who was elected to represent Colorado’s western 3rd Congressional District in 2020, addressed her apology to “anyone in the Muslim community I offended …” She added that she has reached out to Omar’s office in hopes of speaking with her directly.

“There are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction,” Boebert tweeted.

I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar. I have reached out to her office to speak with her directly. There are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction.

— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) November 26, 2021

Boebert has a history of using anti-Islamic language as an attack on Democrats in Congress. She has repeatedly referred to Omar and fellow Muslim U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib as members of the “jihad squad” including in comments delivered on the House floor.

The clip that circulated on Thursday took that rhetoric to a new level.

Tweeted by the account @PatriotTakes, the clip shows Boebert speaking to a group on a small stage in front of an American flag. She tells the crowd she and a staffer were on an elevator in the U.S. Capitol when they saw a police officer running to catch the door before it closed. When the officer wasn’t able to get on the elevator, Boebert said she turned to see Omar next to her on the elevator.

“And I said, ‘Well, she doesn’t have a backpack, we should be fine,’ ” Boebert cracked. The line, implying Omar may have been carrying explosives, drew a round of laughter and applause from the crowd.

Over the Thanksgiving break, Lauren Boebert said she was recently in a Capitol elevator with Ilhan Omar when a fretful Capitol police officer ran up.

Lauren Boebert said: “Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine.”

Boebert then called Ilhan Omar, “jihad squad.”

— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) November 25, 2021

The clip got a speedy reply from Omar, who represents Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District that includes Minneapolis.

On Thursday, Omar tweeted that the elevator story was made up and the Boebert is a “buffoon” who looks down whenever she sees Omar at the Capitol. On Friday, Omar followed up with a tweet calling on Republican Congressional leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to take disciplinary action against Boebert.

“Saying I am a suicide bomber is no laughing matter,” Omar Tweeted in part. “Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress.”

Saying I am a suicide bomber is no laughing matter. @GOPLeader and @SpeakerPelosi need to take appropriate action, normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims. Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress.

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 26, 2021

Patriot Takes, which bills itself as an organization dedicated to exposing right-wing extremism in America, has called for Boebert to be stripped of her committee assignments.

The organization said the video was shot at a campaign event in Pueblo. It did not respond to a Denver Post reporter seeking more information about the event.

The Lauren Boebert for Congress Facebook page has posts that show Boebert was in Pueblo on Nov. 20 and 21 for the Tanner Gun Show. A post from the 20th shows her in the same outfit she was wearing in the video.