WASHINGTON — Rep. Ilhan Omar is apologizing for comments that Democratic leaders called "hurtful" and "offensive."
Omar retweeted a comment from Glenn Greenwald, a journalist with The Intercept, that criticized the U.S. support of Israel. When Omar retweeted Greenwald she added the comment, "It's all about the Benjamins baby".
When another journalist posted that they "would love to know who @IlhanMN thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel," Omar responded with "AIPAC!" short for American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
Omar's comments drew backlash from both Republicans and Democrats.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement along with other Democratic leaders on Monday, saying, "Anti-Semitism must be called out, confronted and condemned whenever it is encountered, without exception."
The Democratic leaders reaffirmed their support of Israel and said, "Congresswoman Omar's use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel's supporters is deeply offensive. We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments."
Just over an hour later Omar issued a statement apologizing.
"Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes," she wrote. "My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize."
Omar said she still reaffirmed the "problematic role of lobbyists in our politics," including AIPAC and the NRA.
Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel said in a statement earlier Monday that it is "shocking to hear a member of Congress invoke the anti-Semitic trope of 'Jewish money.'" He said he will emphasize to committee members of both parties that the American-Israeli relationship is important.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz also released a statement on Monday, saying that "anti-Semitic language is never acceptable... We as a nation need to continue to foster acceptance. I’m encouraged that Representative Omar says she is taking this opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with the Jewish community and her colleagues.”