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Omar Accuses Johnson of Inciting ‘Anger and Hate’ with Columbia Visit

Rep. Ilhan Omar (Credits: Britannica)

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) criticized Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-La.) recent visit to Columbia University, suggesting it fueled further animosity and hostility among students.

During an appearance on MSNBC’s “Alex Wagner Tonight,” Omar expressed her concerns about Johnson’s visit, characterizing it as a move to stir up anger and hate, particularly among young people on the Columbia University campus.

She speculated that Johnson’s motivation might be influenced by his desire to maintain his Speakership and suggested that his actions endangered students participating in the encampment at the university.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (Credits: The New Yorker)

Johnson and a group of Republican lawmakers visited Columbia University to address the surge of pro-Palestinian protests on campuses nationwide, spurred by the ongoing conflict in Gaza. However, their presence was met with resistance from students, who frequently interrupted their remarks with heckling.

Wagner pressed Omar on the apparent disparity between Republicans’ response to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot and their reaction to the pro-Palestinian protests. Omar criticized Republicans for what she viewed as selective concern, accusing them of prioritizing political theater over genuine engagement with free speech issues and peaceful protests.

House Speaker Johnson (Credits: CNN)

She highlighted the irony of Republicans who supported the Jan. 6 insurrection now advocating for a heavy-handed response to the pro-Palestinian demonstrations. Johnson had suggested during the press conference that calling in the National Guard might be necessary to maintain order on college campuses despite the protests.

Omar reiterated her stance against Israel’s actions in Gaza and her calls for a cease-fire in the region. She also revealed that her daughter, Isra Hirsi, had been suspended from Columbia University’s Barnard College after participating in a pro-Palestinian protest, underscoring the personal stakes involved in the ongoing debate surrounding the conflict.

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