Elliott Abrams is the Trump administration’s new special envoy to Venezuela. Today, he got into a fiery spat with anti-Semite freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). It happened during a House hearing on the Caracas crisis. Omar tried to steer the focus to Abrams’ history in Latin America while asking him point-blank whether he’d support “genocide” if it served American interests. This woman should not be holding office period.
Abrams did not take it sitting down either. He called the line of questioning “ridiculous” and refused to respond to the personal attack by Omar. Omar has been in trouble ever since she took office over anti-Semitic tweets and statements against Israel and Jews. She is Somalian-American and a Muslim.
Previously, Omar has accused Trump of committing a US-backed coup in Venezuela. However, there are many countries besides the US who support Juan Guaido and recognize him as the interim president over Nicolás Maduro. We are far from alone in supporting someone else, anyone else, other than Maduro, who is starving his people to death.
First, Omar questioned Abrams on his connection to the Iran-Contra scandal during the Reagan administration. Then she went after the US’ connection to the Iran-Contra scandal during the Reagan administration and ended by taking on Washington’s broader involvement in Latin America’s civil conflicts during the 1970s and 1980s. She has either never heard of the Monroe Doctrine or doesn’t give a flying crap about it. My bet is on the latter.
“In 1991, you pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information to Congress regarding your involvement [in] the Iran-Contra affair for which you were later pardoned by George H.W. Bush,” Omar said. “I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony that you give today to be truthful.”
,@IlhanMN "In 1991 you pleaded guilty … regarding your involvement in Iran-Contra … I fail to understand why [we] should find any testimony that you give today to be truthful"
Elliott Abrams "That was attack. It is not right .. to attack witness who is not permitted to reply" pic.twitter.com/yQq3xYHGxm
— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) February 13, 2019
From Fox News:
“The Iran-Contra affair involved senior Reagan administration officials secretly facilitating the sale of arms to Iran, which was the subject of an arms embargo, in the hopes of using those funds to support right-wing paramilitaries attempting to overthrow Nicaragua’s Sandinista government.
“Abrams attempted to respond, but Omar said she was not asking a question and went on to criticize him for his 1982 testimony before the Senate in which he dismissed as “communist propaganda” reports about the El Mozote Massacre, where the Salvadoran army killed more than 800 civilians in 1981. The soldiers responsible for the massacre, the Atlacatl Battalion, had recently been trained by U.S. forces.
“That is a ridiculous question,” Abrams responded when Omar asked him if he thought the massacre was a “fabulous achievement.” “I am sorry, but I am not going to respond to that kind of an attack.”
“Omar then asked if he would “support crimes against humanity or genocide if you believe they were serving U.S. interests as you did in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.” Abrams in the past had defended Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt, who oversaw a campaign in which thousands of Guatemalans were either massacred or disappeared and who was later convicted of genocide. Omar, though, has also faced criticism for challenging the U.S. policy in Venezuela, and her questions appeared to suggest active U.S. opposition to Maduro, who has overseen a complete economic collapse in Venezuela, could spiral into “genocide.”
“Abrams responded: “I don’t believe this line of questioning is meant to be real questions and so I will not reply.”
“Omar then said she wanted to know whether “a genocide will take place and you will look the other way because American interests were being upheld.” Abrams said the American policy in Venezuela is to support the Venezuelan people’s effort to restore democracy.”
.@IlhanMN on Elliott Abrams' role in Iran-Contra: "I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony that you give today to be truthful."
(Abrams gets mad)
Omar: "That was not a question. Thank you for your participation." pic.twitter.com/QBagSpOQXs
— Frank Dale (@fwdale) February 13, 2019
Abrams and Pompeo are both saying that military force has not been ruled out. I would hope not. In fact, if I had my way, we’d already be in there.
I noticed that Omar did not mention the fact that Maduro is committing genocide while we are not on the ground in Venezuela. I guess it’s okay to kill your own people according to Omar. Instead, she falsely accuses a Republican of being willing to commit genocide which is just outrageous and beyond the pale.
How long will Americans put up with the hate-mongering and bigotry from Omar? Trump is already calling for her to be removed from office, so maybe not as long as she thinks.
Here’s the entire video: