By Ronn Blitzer
Published August 20, 2019
President Trump tore into Rep. Rashida Tlaib on Tuesday for her emotional press conference alongside Rep. Ilhan Omar in which they condemned Israel for blocking a planned trip, calling the Michigan congresswoman an anti-Semite and saying he doesn't "buy Rep. Tlaib’s tears."
Tlaib and Omar, D-Minn., a day earlier had called for retaliatory measures, urging Congress to “conduct oversight” regarding U.S. aid to Israel as Tlaib decried the conditions her Palestinian relatives live under.
Referencing recent conversations with her Palestinian grandmother, whom she had planned to visit before deciding she did not want to abide by Israel's restrictions, Tlaib choked up: “She said I’m her dream manifested. I’m her free bird so why would I come back and be caged and bow down?”
Trump, who has feuded with Tlaib ever since she issued a profanity-laced call for his impeachment upon joining Congress, suggested Tuesday the moment wasn't genuine.
“Sorry, I don’t buy Rep. Tlaib’s tears. I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long,” the president tweeted. “Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite. She and her 3 friends are the new face of the Democrat Party. Live with it!”
Israel created a firestorm last week when it decided not to let Tlaib and Omar visit the Jewish state due to their support for boycotting Israel. Pro-Israel lobby AIPAC and even Democrats known to be pro-Israel -- like New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer -- criticized that decision.
But Tlaib subsequently drew criticism when, after getting Israel's permission to see her grandmother in the West Bank, she abruptly called off the trip -- apparently unwilling to abide by restrictions on promoting Israel boycotts.
During Monday’s press conference, Tlaib stood by her decision as she also discussed her experiences visiting Jerusalem as a child.
“As a young girl visiting Palestine to see my grandparents and extended family, I watched as my mother had to go through dehumanizing checkpoints – even though she was a United States citizen and a proud American,” she said.
Meanwhile, Omar said lawmakers “have a responsibility to conduct oversight over our government’s foreign policy and what happens with the millions of dollars we send in aid.”
When Israel first announced the decision not to let Tlaib and Omar visit the country, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cited their itinerary, which he said revealed that the trip’s “sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel's legitimacy.”
Netanyahu also noted that the trip was organized by the Palestinian organization Miftah, which has a history of supporting the movement to boycott Israel and has even referred to suicide bombers as “sacrificing their lives for the cause.”
Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.