February 11, 2019

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) has only been in Congress for a little over a month, but she's already facing sharp condemnation from her fellow Democrats and the Anti-Defamation League.

Omar on Sunday had responded to a tweet about House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)'s support for Israel by writing, "It's all about the Benjamins baby." In a second tweet, she specifically said she was talking about contributions from the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, a nonprofit that donates to pro-Israel lawmakers. Omar was criticized by those who said she was perpetuating anti-Semitic stereotypes, with Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Elaine Luria (D-Va.) saying that "we must speak out when any Member – Democrat or Republican – uses harmful tropes and stereotypes, levels accusations of dual loyalty, or makes reckless statements like those yesterday," per Politico.

On Monday, more Democrats joined in on the criticism. "Trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes is unacceptable and deeply worrisome to the Jewish community," House Ethics Committee Chairman Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) said. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) also said that Omar "appears to traffic in old anti-Semitic tropes about Jews and money" and that "her words are deeply hurtful and offensive." He went on to say that Omar "failed the test of leadership with these comments." House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y) called the comments "shocking." Omar also serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee.

The Anti-Defamation League condemned Omar for pushing an "ugly, anti-Semitic conspiracy theory" and said House Democrats must take "immediate action," per The Washington Post's Mike DeBonis. Pointing to previous comments from Omar, the organization also called the tweet "part of a disturbing pattern of behavior that must end."

Omar has thus far not apologized and has continued to double down on her remarks, retweeting posts defending her original comments including one from HuffPost's Ashley Feinberg, who wrote, "accurately describing how the Israel lobby works is not anti-Semitism." Brendan Morrow

January 17, 2019

President Trump's cancellation of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) overseas trip, seemingly in response to her request to delay the State of the Union, is already receiving pushback from one of his biggest supporters in Congress.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted that "one sophomoric response does not deserve another" in reaction to Trump's letter. While he said the House speaker's "threat" to cancel Trump's State of the Union address was "very irresponsible and blatantly political," Trump striking back by denying her the use of military aircraft for a previously undisclosed trip was also "inappropriate."

Pelosi had mentioned the ongoing government shutdown as the reason for potentially canceling the State of the Union, and Trump, in turn, cited the shutdown as the reason for canceling her trip. Graham says he has been attempting to find a bipartisan agreement to end the impasse in Congress but has had no luck, saying last week after Trump reportedly rejected a plan he was involved with that he has "never been more depressed." Brendan Morrow

October 16, 2018

President Trump's latest shockingly sexist insult is already drawing a strong rebuke from at least one congressional Republican.

Trump on Tuesday referred to Stormy Daniels, the adult film star who claims she had an affair with Trump in 2006, as "Horseface." Rep. Ryan Costello (R-Pa.) denounced the remark as "embarrassing," and called it "unbecoming of any man, let alone the POTUS." He also said it's "obvious" that this sort of language "enables teenage boys to feel they have a license to refer to girls [with] such names."

Costello can't be particularly happy to be tweeting about this. He announced earlier this year that he would be retiring from Congress, saying that all he does is "answer questions about Donald Trump," reports The Hill. In fact, he cited the Stormy Daniels scandal specifically as one of the reasons he's fed up with modern politics. He explained that the constant "talking about porn stars and the president" means "it's the right time for me to perhaps consider another line of work." Brendan Morrow

July 4, 2017

Three more states — Delaware, Louisiana, and Maryland — on Monday announced they will not comply with President Trump's request for an exhaustive set of voter data via the new Election Integrity Commission to investigate Trump's belief that pervasive voter fraud cost him the popular vote in 2016. By CNN's count, this brings the total number of states refusing full compliance to 41 (plus the District of Columbia).

The commission's request is that states list the name, address, date of birth, party affiliation, last four Social Security digits, and 10-year voting history of each 2016 voter. The request was sent by the commission's vice chair, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who later clarified he is "not asking for [voter information] if it's not publicly available." However, state-level voter privacy laws universally prevent sharing at least one item on the administration's list: Social Security numbers. Indeed, the potential for violating state law is a primary obstacle in the 41 states that have taken issue with the commission demand, as are concerns about voter privacy and data security.

Of the remaining nine states, some have yet to receive their request letter and some have received it but kept silent so far. Just three — Colorado, Missouri, and Tennessee — responded positively to the idea. Bonnie Kristian

June 13, 2017

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the ranking member of the Senate Rules Committee, called on her committee Tuesday to drop its new rule barring reporters from taping interviews in the Capitol without prior permission. Klobuchar urged the majority to allow reporting "to proceed as usual":

The rule, which was first reported Tuesday on Twitter, marks a major departure from the usual order of business, as reporters have long staked out the halls of the Capitol to get comments from senators. Now, reporters will be required to get permission from both the Senate Rules Committee and the senator before taping any interview.

Klobuchar wasn't the only Democratic senator to weigh in. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) argued that senators "shouldn't need to hide" and "the people have a right to know what we are doing." Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) suggested this was "not the right moment to lower the secrecy veil on Congress," while Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) quipped that maybe Republicans are "worried" reporters will "catch the group of guys" crafting the GOP-backed American Health Care Act in a "back room somewhere."

Republicans also expressed concerns about the rule, with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) noting that "an open and transparent government is one that allows for freedom of the press." Becca Stanek

May 11, 2015

The White House on Monday pushed back against a report claiming the government invented huge portions of its story about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, calling the story "patently false."

"There are too many inaccuracies and baseless assertions in this piece to fact check each one," Ned Price, a White House national security spokesman, said in a statement.

On Sunday, renowned journalist Seymour Hersh published an exhaustive story in the London Review of Books alleging Pakistan knew of bin Laden's whereabouts for years and orchestrated the raid in conjunction with the U.S. Other reporters have since thrown cold water on some of the story's details, though, noting that Hersh's version of events relies heavily on a single anonymous source. Jon Terbush

March 19, 2015

Syracuse men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim on Thursday accepted responsibility for his program's litany of infractions, but said the NCAA's case against the Orange was overblown and that he would appeal its stiff punishment.

"This is far from a program where student-athletes freely committed academic fraud," Boeheim said in a press conference. "I believe the penalty is unduly harsh."

Earlier this month, the NCAA stripped Syracuse's hoops program of 12 scholarships, vacated 108 of Boeheim's career wins, and suspended Boeheim for nine games. The punishment came after a multi-year investigation concluded the school's athletic department was complicit in a range of academic misconduct, including a shady behind-the-scenes effort to change a star player's grades.

The 70-year-old Boeheim announced this week he would retire in three years. Jon Terbush

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