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Rep. Ilhan Omar American first responds to ‘Fox and Friends’ host



Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota and one of the first two Muslim women elected to the US House of Representatives, appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Wednesday night. There she had a simple response to comments made by “Fox and Friends” host Brian Kilmeade, who seemed to question the congresswoman’s loyalty to the United States.

“I took an oath,” she said. “I took an oath to the Constitution. I am as American as everyone else is,” Omar said.

The congresswoman’s appearance on the show, Colbert pointed out, had been a while in the making — before Omar became the subject of controversy.

“You’ve become a lightning rod certainly for the people on the right and for some Democrats. Would you like me to go through the timeline of the lightning rodding?” he joked. “Or would you like to explain how you perceive becoming a lightning rod for people? Because that’s part of your story right off the bat.”

Colbert was referring to both comments that Rep. Omar made that were condemned by members of both parties as anti-Semitic, and Islamophobic comments made about the congresswoman, a Somali refugee who immigrated to the United States.

Read more: ‘We must call it out!’ Chuck Schumer slams Ilhan Omar, comparing her comments about Israel to Trump’s remarks on neo-Nazis

“If you think about, historically, where our nation is right now, there are many members of our community that their identities are a lightning rod,” Omar responded.

She continued by saying that the “whole process really has been one of growth,” acknowledging that she is learning the historical context behind the comments.

“And as I’ve said to my constituents, to my colleagues, when you tell me you are pained by something that I say, I will always listen, and I will acknowledge your pain,” she said.

The congresswoman told Colbert that she would like the same consideration with respect to comments made about her, and she referred to Kilmeade who wondered on “Fox & Friends” if she was “an American first.”

In the extended interview posted to Facebook, Colbert asked Omar to respond to those who would tell her, along with her freshman colleagues, the Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, to slow down.

“We are there to follow the lead of Congressman John Lewis and make ‘good trouble,'” she said.

Watch the full interview here:

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