Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar got into a testy exchange Wednesday with a CNN reporter who tried to ask her about a tweet she directed at President Donald Trump.
Omar has been condemned by politicians in both parties for remarks considered to be anti-Semitic. She has issued an apology, but Trump still said he believed she should resign.
The congresswoman responded to Trump by accusing him of having trafficked in hate for his entire life.
"Hi @realDonaldTrump," Omar wrote. "You have trafficked in hate your whole life—against Jews, Muslims, Indigenous, immigrants, black people and more. I learned from people impacted by my words. When will you?"
This whole thing was a pretty big deal. So, CNN reporter Manu Raju, the network's senior congressional correspondent, decided to ask her about her response to Trump. It didn't go well.
Here's how it went down, in Raju's own words:
Rep. Ilhan Omar in no mood to talk about her controversies this week. First, she said: "No thank you" when asked to comment on Trump saying she should resign. Second time I saw her, she yelled: "Are you serious?" when I tried to question her.
Before I even got my question out the second time I saw her, Ilhan Omar angrily said: "Are you serious? What's wrong with you."
Raju persisted in his line of questioning about Omar's tweet response to Trump. Omar answered this time, but was quite short.
"Yes I tweeted, and there's a response. You can run that. Have a nice day," Omar said.
Ilhan Omar explodes at CNN over anti-Semitism scandal Omar: “Are you serious? What is wrong with you?” Manu Raju:… https://t.co/hvJGAq1cO3— Ryan Saavedra (@Ryan Saavedra)1550095342.0
This writer's perspective
This one is pretty simple. When you make anti-Semitic remarks so obvious that even your own party piles on you, and then the president calls for you to step down, people are going to ask you about it. It would serve Omar well to handle those questions a bit more gracefully.
We call members of Congress "public servants" for a reason. You're expected to answer for the things you do and say as an elected official.
Or, as John Bresnahan of Politico succinctly put it: "If you don't want to face questions from reporters, don't run for Congress."