Ilhan Omar Slams GOP 'Hypocrites' After Ted Cruz Letter About Tucker Carlson

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) criticized Republicans who rallied behind Fox News host Tucker Carlson following his controversial comments about women serving in the U.S. military.

Omar's remarks were aimed at Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who wrote to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin condemning public rebuttals against Carlson's segment by the Pentagon and military officials.

The Quote

"Republicans going after the military because of misogyny and a dangerously radical Fox News pundit is just wild and revealing," Omar tweeted Sunday in response to Cruz's letter. "Like I said before, these hypocrites do ultimately tell on themselves."

Why it Matters

Last week, Carlson took aim at President Joe Biden for announcing policies promoting inclusivity for women in the U.S. military. The Fox host said Biden's proposal amounts to "a mockery of the U.S. military and its core mission, which is winning wars."

"So we've got new hairstyles and maternity flight suits," Carlson said. "Pregnant women are going to fight our wars. It's a mockery of the U.S. military.

"While China's military becomes more masculine, as it's assembled the world's largest navy, our military needs to become, as Joe Biden says, more feminine."

Carlson's comments were met with a torrent of criticism from military officials and service members, who perceived the Fox News host to be denigrating women's role in the armed forces.

The Pentagon also responded, stating it will not "take personnel advice from a talk show host."

"[Secretary Austin] certainly shares the revulsion of so many others to what Mr. Carlson said in his opening statement," said Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby.

Following the Department of Defense's public rebuke, Carlson doubled down by claiming he has become "the very first target in the Pentagon's new 'Operation Silence the Talk Show Host.'"

"For a minute, we'll concede we were almost rattled," Carlson said on his show. "Then we realized if the woke generals treat us like they've treated the Taliban, we'll be fine. Twenty years later, the Taliban are still here."

The Counterpoint

Cruz's letter, in which he requested a meeting with Austin, accused the Pentagon of mobilizing "systematic, public attacks" against Carlson that are "in substance, tone, and political resonance are inexplicably inappropriate."

"Instead of allowing the debate to take its course in public among American citizens and their elected leaders, military officials over the last week have repeatedly launched attacks on Carlson, including through official DOD platforms and accounts and while in uniform," Cruz wrote.

"The campaign has alternated between being ostentatiously childish and simply outrageous."

Cruz continued: "Throughout this campaign, military leaders have suggested and insinuated that it is out of bounds for civilians to criticize the military unless they've served."

The Texas senator said criticism of Carlson by the Pentagon and military leaders "risks politicizing the military after several centuries of efforts to keep military officials out of domestic affairs, undermining civil-military relations by having the military take a side in a contentious cultural dispute, and the perception that military leaders are happily weaponizing the institution against political criticism of the sitting administration."

On Sunday, the II Marine Expeditionary Force apologized for lambasting Carlson's claims on its official Twitter account.

"We are human and we messed up," the account tweeted. "We intended to speak up for female Marines and it was an effort to support them. They are a crucial part to our corps and we need them to know that.

"We will adjust fire and ensure the utmost professionalism in our tweets."

Ilhan Omar speaks at press conference
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) speaks during a news conference to discuss proposed legislation entitled Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act outside the U.S. Capitol on March 11, 2021 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images