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Ilhan Omar claims her Obama comments were distorted, but newly released evidence reveals the truth

Not good for Omar

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) finally made headlines on Friday for reasons unrelated to accusations of anti-Semitism.

In an interview with Politico Magazine, Omar harshly criticized former President Barack Obama for policies that dominated his administration, which Omar and other progressive lawmakers believe contributed to the current political climate.

"We can't be only upset with Trump," Omar told Politico. "His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was. And that's not what we should be looking for anymore. We don't want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile."

Now, the controversial freshman lawmaker is backtracking and attempting to shame Politico for correctly reporting the breadth of her comments.

What is Omar claiming now?

After her comments circulated in the media, generating ample backlash, Omar tweeted audio from her Politico interview, claiming it would show how the reporter "distort[ed]" her words.

"Exhibit A of how reporters distort words. I'm an Obama fan! I was saying how Trump is different from Obama, and why we should focus on policy not politics. This is why I always tape my interviews," Omar tweeted, including audio from the interview.

However, there is one problem for Omar. As many of the left and right noted, the audio Omar released only corroborated Politico's reporting.

From Tim Alberta, the author of the Politico story:

FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver, who traditionally leans left:

After Omar was widely rebuked for falsely claiming her words were distorted, she deleted her tweet. However, the audio remains available online.

Read the transcript from Omar's interview:

I think for many of us, we think of ourselves as Democrats. But many of the ways that our Democratic leaders have conducted themselves within the system is not one that we are all proud of.

You know, I will talk about the family separation or caging of kids and then people will point out that this was wrong — I mean this was Obama. And you know I'll say something about the droning of countries around the world and people will say that was Obama. And all of that is very true. What is happening now is very different. A lot is happening with secrecy. It's happening with the feel-good polished way of talking about it.

And when we talk about waking people up from complacency, it's to say that we can't be only upset with Trump because he's not a politician who sells us his policies in the most perfect way. His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was.

And that's not what we should be looking for anymore. We don't want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile, so that we can understand the kind of negative impact, or positive impact, they will have on us for generations.
One last thing…
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