Lauren Boebert Went Full Racist Conspiracy Theory Against Ilhan Omar

Boebert used Rep. Paul Gosar's censure hearing as a forum to claim that Omar, who is Muslim, is a member of the “Jihad Squad.”
November 18, 2021, 6:46pm
Representative Lauren Boebert, a Republican from Colorado, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas, U.S., on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Representative Lauren Boebert, a Republican from Colorado, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas, U.S., on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Rep. Lauren Boebert used the censure of her fellow right-wing colleague to throw a best-of list of unproven Republican personal attacks at prominent House Democrats—including one of the most prominent progressives in Congress, Rep. Ilhan Omar. 

Boebert spoke on the House floor Wednesday as the House deliberated a motion to censure Rep. Paul Gosar, a fellow far-right Republican who posted a staff-edited anime video showing characters with Gosar, Boebert, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s faces fighting Omar ally Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and President Joe Biden, and Gosar killing Ocasio-Cortez’s character with a sword. 

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The motion ultimately passed, resulting in a formal censure of Gosar and his removal from two House committees, including the House Oversight Committee, of which Ocasio-Cortez is a member. But first, Boebert delivered an unhinged rant that accused Omar of incest, and named the Minnesota congresswoman—who came to the U.S. as a Somalian refugee before becoming a citizen—as a member of what she called the “Jihad Squad.”

“The ‘Jihad Squad’ member from Minnesota has paid her husband—and not her brother-husband, the other one—has paid over a million dollars in campaign funds,” Boebert said, referring to Omar. “This member is allowed on the Foreign Affairs committee while praising terrorists.”

Omar responded on Twitter by referencing Boebert’s husband’s 2004 arrest and guilty plea for public indecency and lewd exposure, after he allegedly exposed his penis to two young women at a bowling alley. 

“Luckily my dad raised me right, otherwise I might have gone to the floor to talk about this insurrectionist who sleeps with a pervert,” Omar said. “I am grateful I was raised to be a decent human and not a deprived person who shamefully defecates & defiles the House of Representatives.”

In referencing Omar’s alleged “brother-husband,” Boebert put a years-old right-wing conspiracy alleging Omar married her sibling into the Congressional record. The allegation that Omar’s ex-husband is actually her brother and they married so he could get a green card originated in an internet forum in 2016, while Omar was a Minnesota state representative, and rapidly spread throughout the American right. 

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Omar said at the time that the claims were “absolutely false and ridiculous” and clarified her marriage history, saying that the accusations that her ex-husband in her first legal marriage was her brother were “absurd and offensive.” Nonetheless, Republicans have continued to use the allegations to attack Omar. 

In 2018, as Omar made her first run for Congress, Minnesota Republicans started a website highlighting the claims, which Omar called “disgusting lies.” The following year, then-President Donald Trump said of Omar: “I hear she was married to her brother.” And in September, Greene called Omar a “brotherfucker” in a tweet again baselessly accusing her of marriage fraud. 

Michael Knowles, a conservative commentator who co-hosts a podcast with Sen. Ted Cruz, quote-tweeted Omar’s response to Boebert and added: “We all know you love your family.” Omar shot back: “I love my family dearly, sorry that your family hates you. Maybe you should try being a kind and decent person.”

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Omar wasn’t the only Democrat Boebert targeted on Wednesday, as she also echoed an allegation that a Rep. Eric Swalwell slept with a suspected spy for the Chinese government, who fundraised for the congressman and helped place an intern in his office. “A member of Congress who receives classified briefings was sleeping with the enemy,” Boebert said. 

Swalwell responded by calling attention to an FBI search of Boebert’s former campaign manager earlier this week, as part of an investigation into a security breach of election equipment in Colorado involving the top elections official in Mesa County

“Weird. If I had done anything wrong the FBI would have raided my house. They didn’t (and went as far to issue a statement saying I did nothing wrong),” Swalwell tweeted. “BUT yesterday they did raid the home of @laurenboebert’s campaign manager.”

“They’re always projecting,” he added.

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