A top House Republican called on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) to resign Monday for delivering a speech in which her critics say she placed Somali interests ahead of American ones.
“Ilhan Omar’s appalling, Somalia-first comments are a slap in the face to the Minnesotans she was elected to serve and a direct violation of her oath of office,” House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) wrote on X. “She should resign in disgrace.”
Omar, the first Somali American in Congress, appeared to assure her Somali American constituents that she would do everything in her power to prevent the disputed, breakaway Republic of Somaliland from entering into a sea-access deal with landlocked Ethiopia.
A clip of the Minnesota lawmaker went viral with over 2.6 million views after it was posted on X, with a translation saying Omar had said: “As Somalis, one day we will go after our missing territories.”
The congresswoman claims her remarks were lost in translation.
“It’s not only slanted but completely off,” Omar said of the subtitles in a video of her speech shared by Republic of Somaliland Foreign Minister Rhoda Elmi. “But I wouldn’t expect more from these propagandists.”
Omar claims her remarks were lost in translation.
“While I am in Congress, no one will take Somalia’s sea,” Omar said during the Jan. 27 speech, according to a translation she deemed to be more accurate. “The United States will not back others to rob us. So, do not lose sleep over that.”
Elmi urged House leadership and Democrats to “take note of [Omar’s] public conduct,” arguing that the speech was “unbecoming [of] a United States Congresswoman.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) slammed Omar for vowing to protect Somalia’s borders while opposing efforts to shore up the US-Mexico border.
“Terrorist sympathizer Ilhan Omar in her own words: Somalian first. Muslim second. She never mentions America,” Greene tweeted.
Omar is facing a Democratic primary challenge for her seat in Congress launched by former Minneapolis City Council member Don Samuels.
“She flaunts using her position as congresswoman to protect Somalia’s border while our border is invaded by MILLIONS of illegals who are a danger to America,” the Georgia Republican added. “These people hate America and they’re so emboldened by the Democrats’ disdain for our country, they’re not even trying to hide it anymore.”
The Republic of Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991, but is not widely recognized internationally, including by the US. Omar wants to keep it that way.
“No nation-state can survive if its states start to get involved in land lease negotiations with other countries without the consent of the federal government,” she wrote on X. “Somalis in Somalia and in the diaspora are united in that effort and I stand in solidarity with them. No amount of harassment and lies will ever change that.”