Meghan McCain’s criticism of Rep. Ilhan Omar amid repeated accusations of anti-Semitism sparked a tense and heated exchange between “The View” co-host and “Late Night” host Seth Meyers.
Tensions escalated between the two as McCain would not back down on her denouncement of the Minnesota Democrat’s recent controversial comments and even confronted Meyers at one point, asking if he was Omar’s “publicist.”
The “Late Night” host asked McCain about her recent comments on the freshman congresswoman following the Poway synagogue shooting in California last month where she pointed to Omar’s tweets and called for both Democrats and Republicans to deal with anti-Semitism within their own parties.
“I do think it’s fairly dangerous and you brought it up after Congresswoman Omar had some death threats against her,” Meyers said. “Do you think, you know, she has obviously now stated that she needs to be more careful with her language, don’t you think other people who talk about her need to be more thoughtful as well? Or do you stand by those comments of tying her to this, her rhetoric to this synagogue shooting?”
“I don’t think I tied her to it in particular,” McCain replied. “I’m calling out what I see as anti-Semitic language and when you’re talking about — ”
“But even after, you called her out even after she apologized for it,” Meyers jumped in. “I do want to establish the timeline.”
“I think that Democrats are hedging on this and I think it’s very dangerous,” McCain went on.
“And I think [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer and I are in alignment about Israel’s stance in geopolitical politics. I think it is of the utmost importance and I think she is bringing her party to extremism on this. And I think we have to look to Europe and what’s happening over there and in British politics,” she added.
“Anti-Semitism is very common and I see it happening over there and I worry about it happening over here,” she said, expressing her concerns but dismissing the criticism being directed at her.
“I stand by everything that I’ve said and if that makes me unpopular in this room or in front of you, so be it,” McCain declared as some in the audience applauded.
“See, that’s a weird thing that you would take the position of trying to be unpopular, here I am trying to, you know, find the common ground on this because I do think one of the — I think we can both agree —” Meyers shot back before McCain confronted him with a question.
“Were you bothered by her language on 9/11?” she asked, referring to comments Omar made in a speech in March.
Trump to Omar: We will never forget what you said about 9/11! https://t.co/JGv0VXqrp3
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 13, 2019
Meyers responded that he “thought it was taken out of context.”
“Would you give President Trump the same leverage if he had said the same thing?” McCain challenged. “I just think you have to give people the same credence.”
“I would say that Donald Trump is certainly in no position to criticize her language on 9/11, based on the things that he said about 9/11, right?” Meyers responded as “The View” co-host noted that Omar is “getting a lot of passes.”
Meyers defended the Muslim congresswoman, saying she had apologized and Trump had not. He also pointed to her promise that she was “going to be educated by people who know about this.”
“It’s an interesting thing when we have two Muslim women for the first time, they do have a different perspective on things,” the NBC host said, referring also to Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. “And I think when we talk about the idea of ‘Let’s all try to meet in the middle on things,’ we have to listen to other people’s perspective.”
“I agree, I work on ‘The View’ with Joy Behar every day,” McCain quickly fired back. “I listen to other people’s perspectives all the time.”
Meyers nearly wagged a finger at the daughter of the late Sen. John McCain when she brought up Omar’s tweets in response to his question on how to speak about Israel without being considered anti-Semitic.
“You do keep bringing up the two tweets she apologized for,” he said, “and I think it’s a little unfair to her, especially because — ”
“Are you her publicist?” McCain asked, interrupting. “Are you her press person?”
“No,” Meyers replied. “I’m just someone who cares about the fact that there’s someone out there who is in a minority, who has had death threats against her, and I think we should all use the same language that you’re asking her to be careful about her language. And I would ask that everyone to be careful about theirs.”
“What would make you happy coming out of my mouth right now? I’m genuinely curious,” McCain asked, to which Meyers replied that he was “perfectly happy” with everything coming out of her mouth, adding “I like that we spent this time together.”
“I think, you know, my opinions are very strong,” McCain explained.
“That is coming across. I do want you to know that,” Meyers replied, to audience laughter.
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