Pelosi: "We Have No Taint" Of Anti-Semitism In The Democratic Party


In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that there is no "taint" of antisemitism in the Democratic Party and that Rep. Ilhan Omar has been mistreated by the president and Republicans.

AMANPOUR: I just want to move again to the anti-Semitism row (ph) because it's not just happening in the U.K., in the Labour Party. It's happening actually in the United States right now.

Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota has come under fierce criticism, including from within your own party, but certainly from the Republican Party. The president has tweeted against her, suggesting that, you know, there's some sort of linkage with this video he's tweeted about the towers and what she said about 9/11.

Are you concerned for her well-being, first and foremost? You asked for more security around her.

PELOSI: Yes, but I -- I don't think that the congresswoman is anti-Semitic. I wouldn't even put those in the same category. I think the president --

AMANPOUR: But she's been accused of it.

PELOSI: Well, she's being accused of it, but I'm -- I criticized the president for using film of -- video of 9/11 as a political tool. I think he was wrong to do that.

But to enlarge the issue back to the anti-Semitism as the premise of your question, for a long time now I have said to our people that we have sent to these meetings, whether it's the NATO interparliamentary group, this group or that group, there are all kinds of places where parliamentarians come together, whether bilateral or multilaterally. And I've always said, you know, you -- you go there, use your judgment. You know the values of our caucus. But one guidance I give everyone is that I want you to say, when you're there, that we are concerned about anti-Semitism raising its head all over, including in our own country.

But some of this predates it, raising its head in our country in the recent way. And so -- so this is nothing new for us. So 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

AMANPOUR: For the Democratic Party, are you concerned that your opposition going towards the next election, or however they wish to use it, will use that to call, as the president has done, you know, the Democrats are not the party of friend to the Jews.

PELOSI: Well, no, no. No, I think the president is bankrupt of any ideas. I don't want to talk about the president here because I'm overseas. But come see me in Washington, D.C., and I'll tell you what I think about that, the president.

But, no, I -- because the -- we are not. And we have no taint of that in the Democratic Party. And just because they want to accuse somebody of that doesn't mean that we take that bait.

AMANPOUR: Do you think, as some in your own party have suggested, that you, yourself, weren't swift enough to defend Ilhan Omar?

PELOSI: Well, that -- I haven't had a chance to speak with her. I'm traveling, she's traveling, but we couldn't catch up with her. Until I talk to somebody, I don't even know what was said. But I do know what the president did was not right.

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