Sen. Rand Paul ‘Dumbfounded’ by Rep. Omar’s Criticism of United States

July 16, 2019 Updated: July 16, 2019

Sen. Rand Paul has joined the chorus of criticism against House Rep. Ilhan Omar, saying she deserves to be rebuked for criticizing the United States after the country took her in as a Somali refugee.

Paul (R-Kentucky) said he was “dumbfounded” by Omar’s (D-Minnesota) recent comments about the U.S.

“I’m sort of dumbfounded how unappreciative she is of our country,” Paul told Kentucky broadcaster WAVE-3.

Paul said Omar indicated the United States “is terrible, a place without justice and all this. She’s a congresswoman. She got here as a refugee 20 years ago. She’s elected to congress. I can’t imagine a better country that elected her to congress and she badmouths our country.”

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Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is seen in the audience ahead of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Feb. 5, 2019. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

The Kentucky senator was asked about Omar, who was born in Mogadishu, on July 15.

Paul said that many immigrants and refugees in Kentucky have embraced their communities. “I know this Somali family that came about the same time [as Omar] to Bowling Green, and it’s just this dramatic story of hope and wonder,” Paul said. “Those are the stories, but it’s not this angry story.”

Elaborating further, Paul said her comments about President Donald Trump and the U.S. are inaccurate.

“She has this bitterness and anger toward the country,” Paul said. “So I think she does deserve a rebuke over trying to say we have a rotten country.”

Omar has often drawn rebukes from Republicans and even members of her own party for criticizing Trump, various U.S. institutions, and Israel. Some have described her statements about Israel as anti-Semitic.

Over the weekend, Omar said that the U.S. doesn’t live up to the ideal of “liberty and justice for all.”

“I believe as an immigrant I probably love this country more than anyone who is naturally born,” Omar said. “You ask anyone walking on the side of the street, somewhere in the middle of the world, they will tell you America the great, but we don’t live these values here,” she added.  “And so that hypocrisy is one that I am bothered by. I want America the great to be America the great.”

On July 16, Trump said his critical words towards four Democratic lawmakers over the weekend were not racist.

“Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” he tweeted.

“The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game. Republicans should not show ‘weakness’ and fall into their trap,” the president added. “This should be a vote on the filthy language, statements and lies told by the Democrat Congresswomen, who I truly believe, based on their actions, hate our Country.”

Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) listen during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on July 15, 2019. President Donald Trump stepped up attacks on the four progressive Democratic congresswomen, saying that if they’re not happy in the U.S., “they can leave.” (Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

In addition, he added, Omar has abysmally low poll numbers. Her freshman Democrat ally, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), fared about the same, Trump continued.

“Get a list of the HORRIBLE things they have said. Omar is polling at 8 percent, Cortez at 21 percent,” he wrote.

Next, Trump appeared to shine light on their true intentions in his recent tweets, saying that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) “tried to push them away, but now they are forever wedded to the Democrat Party. See you in 2020!”

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