WASHINGTON — Twentieth and 21st century lightning rods clashed in Congress’ hallowed halls in the persons of Elliott Abrams, the Jewish Reagan era official often accused of looking away from atrocities in Central America and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., the freshman fresh out of an antisemitism controversy. He also pleaded guilty to withholding from Congress information about the Iran-Contra guns for hostages affair, the signature Reagan presidency scandal.Omar, who this week apologized for a tweet falsely accusing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee of paying lawmakers to be pro-Israel, was especially confrontational.Pressed by Omar to confirm, as he once said, that he believed the US legacy in El Salvador was “fabulous,” Abrams was happy to, saying that the US had midwived democracy in the country. Omar asked him if he thought the El Mozote massacre was “fabulous.” Abrams said that was “ridiculous” and complained to committee chairman Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., that he was under attack. Omar also asked how the committee could be expected to trust anything Abrams would say, a non-question question that also led Abrams to appeal to the chairman.For all the rhetorical bomb-throwing, the son of a Jewish immigration lawyer and the refugee from Somalia agreed… Read full this story
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