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ICYMI: Emmer calls for ethics investigation into Ilhan Omar following her controversial 'Somalia first' declaration

WASHINGTON – Majority Whip Tom Emmer today sent a letter to the House Ethics Committee demanding an investigation into whether Rep. Ilhan Omar’s recent remarks on Somalia violated House rules. In a statement to the Daily Mail, Whip Emmer said, “No sitting member of Congress should be able to blatantly spew anti-American rhetoric and get away with it.” The Whip has also called for Rep. Omar to “resign in disgrace” over her “appalling, Somalia-first comments.”

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Top Republican Tom Emmer calls for Ethics Committee investigation into Squad's Ilhan Omar following her controversial 'Somalia first' declaration that sparked outrage and demands she resign from Congress
Daily Mail
Morgan Phillips
January 31, 2024

A top Republican is demanding the Ethics Committee probe Rep. Ilhan Omar  over a widely shared clip of remarks she made in Somalian that one translation suggests she was saying her allegiances lie with Somalia over the U.S. 

According to a letter obtained by Whip Tom Emmer asked the committee to probe whether the Minnesota Democrat had violated Rule XXIII, clause 1, which states: 'a Member of the House shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect credibly on the House.' 

'We are an organized society, brothers and sisters, people of the same blood, people who know they are Somalis first, Muslims second, who protect one another,' Omar said, according to a widely circulated translation of a clip where she was speaking in Somalian. 

Omar claims that translation is not accurate.

'No sitting member of Congress should be able to blatantly spew anti-American rhetoric and get away with it. I am demanding an ethics investigation into Ilhan Omar's appalling, Somalia-first comments to ensure that she starts taking her oath of office and commitment to the 5th district of Minnesota seriously,' said Emmer, a fellow Minnesotan, in a statement.

Emmer has called on the Somali-born progressive to resign over her remarks.  

The clip shared by Somaliland Ambassador Rhoda Elmi, who called them 'unbecoming' and 'lacking in common decency.'

Somaliland is an unrecognized state that Somalia views as its own territory.

Omar, the first Somali-American in Congress, said in the clip she would do everything in her power to prevent the disputed, breakaway territory from entering a sea-access deal with Ethiopia. 

'Sleep in comfort knowing I am here to protect the interest of Somalia from inside the U.S. system,' Omar said, according to the widely-shared, translated version of the video.

Omar reportedly said in her speech that 'the US government will only do what Somalians in the U.S. tell them to do. They will do what we want and nothing else.'

'They must follow our orders and that is how we will safeguard the interest of Somalia,' she adds. 'We Somalians must have the confidence in ourselves that we call the shots in the U.S.'

'Together we will protect the interests of Somalia.'

'It's not only slanted but completely off,' Omar said of the subtitles in the clip the Somaliland ambassador shared. 'But I wouldn't expect more from these propagandists.'

In a translation Omar claims to be more accurate, she says she told her Somali constituents who were worried about the Somaliland-Ethiopia deal: 

'The US government will do what we ask it to do. We should have this confidence in ourselves as Somalis. We live in this country. We are taxpayers in this country. This country is one where one of your daughters sits in Congress.'

'While I am in Congress, no one will take Somalia's sea.'

'The United States will not back others to rob us. So, do not lose sleep over that, O Minnesotans. The lady you sent to Congress is on this, and she is as cognizant of this interest as you are,' Omar went on according to her preferred translation. 

'Somalia belongs to all Somalis. Somalia is one. We are brothers and sisters, and our land will not be balkanized. Our lands were taken from us before, and God willing, we may one day seek them.'

Omar has railed against U.S. lawmakers' so-called allegiance to a foreign country before. 

'I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,' the congresswoman said in 2019, suggesting pro-Israel groups were demanding fealty from U.S. lawmakers. 

In a post on X, she said of U.S. lawmakers' staunch support for Israel: 'It's all about the Benjamins baby.'