Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi believes there is “no taint” of anti-Semitism on the Democratic Party in the United States, despite weeks of controversy over members of her own caucus, and is assured that anti-Semitism is under control after speaking with U.K. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Pelosi is on a diplomatic jaunt through the United Kingdom, where she’s met with leaders in Ireland and Great Britain to discuss shared values, trade, and the rise of “hate.” On Tuesday, she sat down with CNN for an interview, right after she finished chatting with the controversial Corbyn.
“We have no taint of that in the Democratic Party,” Pelosi told the network. “And just because they want to accuse somebody of that doesn’t mean we take that bait.”
She is, of course, referring to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) who was accused last week of minimizing the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in a speech, referring to them as “some people did something” — the latest in a number of controversial and shocking statements Omar has made since assuming office in January.
Pelosi said she was calling out extra security for Omar after President Donald Trump tweeted pointed criticism at the Minnesota Democrat, “to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff.”
As for who is hateful in the equation, Pelosi clearly believes it’s Trump.
“The president’s words weigh a ton, and his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger,” Pelosi added. “President Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video.”
But these aren’t the first comments Omar has made. On several occasions, she’s made clearly anti-Semitic remarks, accusing other members of Congress, including her Democratic colleagues, of being under the financial influence of Israel. At one point, she even referred to her colleagues’ “dual loyalty” to both Israel and the United States — a reference to an ancient, anti-Semitic smear.
On both occasions, Omar earned a swift rebuke from some members of Congress, but no official condemnation. The second time Omar expressed anti-Semitic sentiments, Pelosi and others were prepared to issue a blanket statement condemning anti-Semitism and expressing support for the Jewish people but were bullied out of it by progressive Democrats who backed Omar.
That incident, of course, makes the other meetings Pelosi attended on Tuesday downright comical.
She spoke to at least three members of the British Parliament who claimed they’d abandoned the Labour Party because of the growing force of anti-Semitism within its more progressive wings, according to The Guardian, and who warned Pelosi that they’ve seen signs that something similar is happening in the United States.
Pelosi told the three MPs that she understood “the importance of standing unequivocally against anti-semitism wherever it is found,” knowing that she and others backed down from taking a stand against anti-Semitism within her own caucus — and knowing that immediately after, she would meet with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has been routinely accused of espousing anti-Semitic views and acting on them.
Instead of challenging Corbyn, Pelosi backed down yet again, “When we met the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, we said we have concerns about how the Labour Party is perceived in terms of anti-Semitism,” she told CNN, but did not mention receiving any pushback on her concerns.
Corbyn, for his part, did not note any discussion of anti-Semitism at all in his tweet summarizing the meeting.
“Open and wide ranging meeting with US House of Representatives @SpeakerPelosi today. We discussed the need to protect the Good Friday Agreement, take action on inequality and the climate crisis, confront racism and promote peace,” Corbyn said, in a statement that sounded largely similar to the watered-down Democratic “condemnation” of hate issued in place of their declaration of firm support for Israel.