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On the defense

Rep. Ilhan Omar makes 'full backtrack' on ICC questions despite fierce defense from AOC

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) has clarified comments made during a House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting on Monday, during which she claims she was "in no way equating terrorist organizations" to democracies with "well-established judicial systems," per a statement released Thursday afternoon. She was simply, she said, "citing an open case against Israel, U.S. Hamas and [the] Taliban in the [International Criminal Court]."

Omar shared the controversial exchange in a tweet on Monday, per Politico, alongside the text, "We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban."

Twelve moderate Democratic colleagues took issue with her comments and questions surrounding the ICC, releasing a statement Wednesday night accusing the Minnesota representative of "ignoring the differences between democracies" and "contemptible organizations that engage in terrorism."

Fellow "squad" member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) came to Omar's defense Thursday morning, saying caucus members have "no concept for the danger they put [Omar] in by skipping private conversations" and leaping to public condemnation. Omar had reportedly tried and failed to contact "several of the Democrats involved in drafting the statement" prior to its release, writes Politico

Despite having first labeled Democratic criticism "shameful" and "unbearable," Omar later made a "full backtrack," per reporter Ben Jacobs, citing her comments as pertaining to "accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC cases," and not a "moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel."