Trump wants first Somali-American congresswoman to resign

US President Donald Trump has said Somali-American congresswoman Ilhan Omar should resign a day after he apologised for tweets that were perceived as anti-Semitic.

Ms. Omar was widely criticised in the US for implying in the tweets that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) was buying influence for pro-Israel policies.

A number of politicians and pro-Israeli groups said her posts stoked anti-Semitism.

The Minnesota congresswoman has previously been accused of anti-Semitism.

On Monday (11 February), she issued a statement apologising for her tweets.

“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” she wrote.

But speaking on Tuesday, Trump said the congresswoman “should be ashamed of herself”, describing her apology for the tweets as “inadequate and lame”.

“I think it was a terrible statement, and I don’t think her apology was adequate,” he said.

“Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress,” Trump said.

“And congressman Omar is terrible, what she said. And I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”

Ms. Omar, a former refugee, is a fierce critic of the Israeli government over its treatment of Palestinians.

In his remarks, Trump said: “What [Omar] said is so deep seated in her heart that her lame apology — and that’s what it was, it was lame and she didn’t mean a word of it — was just not appropriate. I think she should resign from Congress, frankly. But at a minimum she shouldn’t be on committees — certainly that committee.”

In the past, Trump himself has been accused of making anti-Semitic comments or failing to condemn such rhetoric.

In 2016, he tweeted an image critical of former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that critics said  was anti-Semitic.

The US Congressional Progressive Caucus condemned the president’s call for Ms. Omar’s resignation, describing it in a statement as a “cynical effort to stifle and intimidate diverse voices”.