Senior Department of Homeland Security officials are in hot water for a post calling controversial freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) a “Trojan horse” on social media.
The post shared by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Leslie Derewonko also said Omar, who is Muslim, came to the US amid a “refugee outbreak” under former President Barack Obama.
“And this is what represents America?” the post stated.
Jerry Templet, a top official at Homeland Security Investigations in San Francisco, liked the post. His online accounts are also being scrutinized, ABC News reported Saturday.
ICE does not have a social-media policy for employees, but the agents may have violated DHS’s code of conduct.
“If they ever have a defendant that is Muslim, they could say, ‘ICE is biased against me,’” a former ICE official told BuzzFeed News, which first reported on the agents’ social media activity. “They could introduce that in the trial.”
The post that Derewonko shared included video taken from a recent interview in which Omar, who was born in Somalia and came to the US as a refugee, mentioned a “terrorism class” that she took “in college.”
Some critics have sought to portray those comments in an ominous light. The political science department of North Dakota State University, where Omar earned her bachelor’s degree, offers a three-credit class focusing on the history, tactics and motivations of terrorist groups.
She has come under fire for a Feb. 27 comment suggesting lawmakers and activists who support Israel hold “allegiance to a foreign country.”
Last month, Omar also suggested the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC was buying off politicians, though she eventually apologized.
The House of Representatives last week passed a kitchen-sink resolution broadly condemning bigotry of all types—after Speaker Nancy Pelosi failed to unite her caucus behind a measure condemning anti-Jewish hatred alone.
And now even liberal commentator Bill Maher thinks that Omar “might be” anti-Semitic.
The unabashedly politically-incorrect television host previously defended the contentious congresswoman, but on Friday night began to waver.
“First of all, I’m a free speech person. I believe you’re allowed to criticize Israel without being an anti-Semite,” Maher said, according to Fox News.
“Having said that, I’ve read some of her other tweets… She might be. I don’t know what her thoughts are on this.”
Last month, Maher questioned why Omar’s tweets were seen as anti-Semitic.
“If I criticize Saudi Arabia, that doesn’t mean I’m an Islamophobe,” he said.