Rep. Ilhan Omar once told a group of high school students a story in which she claims she witnessed America’s injustice and racism, but after Washington Post reporters discovered the story could not have happened the way she told it, the congressman admitted she distorted the details.
The Washington Post reports that Omar was speaking to an audience of 400 high school students when she told of visiting a Minneapolis courtroom, where she witnessed a “sweet, old … African American lady” who spent the weekend in jail for stealing a $2 loaf of bread to feed her “starving 5-year-old granddaughter.” After the woman was fined $80 for the crime, Omar said she couldn’t control her emotions and yelled, “Bulls–t!” in the courtroom.
“Omar’s story echoed the plot of ‘Les Miserables.’ If true, it is also probably embellished,” wrote Washington Post reporters Greg Jaffe and Souad Mekhennet. “City officials said that police aren’t allowed to arrest people for shoplifting unless there’s a likelihood of violence or further crime. Typically, shoplifters are sentenced to attend a three-hour class.”
When the reporters confronted Omar about these details, she said she may have flubbed some facts. The woman convicted of the crime “might have had a prior [arrest],” Omar said. “I’m not sure. . . . The details might not have all matched, but that’s what I remember.”
This is not the first time Omar has been caught fabricating to embellish her arguments. The Post also reported on another time Omar misrepresented facts.
“Recently, she told a group of veterans that about 45 percent of military families rely on food stamps,” Jaffe and Mekhennet wrote. “She was trying to make the point that Republicans didn’t care for the troops. The actual number is less than 5 percent, according to Pentagon statistics.”
Just last month, in an attempt to bring attention to a gun control bill, Omar tweeted that 500 people on average are shot and killed every day in the United States.
Supporting my colleagues’ call on Senate Majority Leader to vote on H.R. 8, 1112 & 1158.
Gun violence is an epidemic.
Every day on average 500 people die from gun violence. How many more lives will we let gun violence claim?
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) June 5, 2019
If true, that would mean 182,000 dying from gun deaths in the United States every year. In reality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported there had been 39,773 deaths related to firearms in 2017, the most recent CDC report available.
That number includes deaths resulting from suicides, homicides, unintentional and undetermined deaths, as well as those from law enforcement. Suicides alone make up 60 percent of the total.