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Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar appeared on CNN this morning and defended a baseless tweet in which she alleged that Sen. Lindsey Graham is compromised––as in being blackmailed. In a rambling response to questions about the tweet, Omar said she is “pretty sure” that the Trump administration has something on Graham. Asked what that something might be, she suggested something having to do with campaign finances, or senate leadership positions, which sounds a lot more like normal politics than blackmail.
When pressed for evidence, she failed to present any and finally described the tweet as an “opinion based on things visible to me.” The response drew attention because of its similarity to a conspiracy theory suggesting that Graham is gay and that is what’s being held over his head. If indeed that is what Omar was winking at, it’s shameful and homophobic, but even if it wasn’t, her accusation is baseless, dangerous, and she should immediately apologize to Graham.
Claim - Video - Thing - Evidence - Graham
That the claim is baseless is obvious from the video. The only thing approaching evidence that she cites is that Graham has changed his mind about Donald Trump over the past few years. Well, I’ve got news for Omar, so have a lot of people, and not all of them are being blackmailed by some nefarious Trump organization. Graham has said very critical things about Trump in the past, many during the hotly contested 2016 primary in which the two men were opponents.
There’s nothing strange about political rivals criticizing each other, even in extreme ways. After Trump’s election, Graham maintained a wary relationship with Trump, but was by no means marching with the resistance. And even to this day, he is still deeply critical of the president on foreign policy, just yesterday urging Trump to reconsider his decision to pull troops from Syria. The...
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