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AOC valiantly comes to Ilhan’s defense after Tulsi-backed smear is exposed as fake

AOC valiantly comes to Ilhan’s defense after Tulsi-backed smear is exposed as fake

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The Republican Party’s fixation on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is pathological. They hate that she’s an immigrant, hate that she’s a woman of color, hate that she’s Muslim, and most of all they hate that she is all three of these things while also completely unafraid to stand up to their hateful, reactionary worldview. She’s been hit with all manner of vile smears since she came into office with disgusting Islamophobic insults being a frequent line of attack from her conservative ill-wishers.

Recently, Project Veritas, the right-wing propaganda crew run by the infamous James O’Keefe, released a video claiming that Omar was secretly operating a “massive voter fraud” operation in Minnesota in connection with people working for Minneapolis’s Ward 6 Councilman Jamal Osman. According to Veritas, she and her associates were paying to harvest ballots.

The outlandish claims were focused on videos posted by Osman’s brother Liban. The clips, stripped entirely of context, appeared to show Liban Osman driving while talking about politics and money with what appeared to be ballots inside his car. Even by the incredibly low standards of Project Veritas, the story seemed like an enormous stretch and lacked any real evidence.

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Despite the dubious nature of the accusations, right-wingers latched onto the story and propagated it all across social media. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a frequent fifth columnist within the Democratic Party who should be neither trusted nor supported, boosted Project Veritas’s shaky reporting, happily spreading bad faith Republican talking points in the process.

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Yesterday, it was revealed that there was much more to the story than O’Keefe let on. Liban Osman came forward to claim that a man named Omar Jamal who was an “insider” for” Project Veritas offered him a $10,000 bribe to confirm the story and claim that he was in fact collecting ballots to help Ilham Omar cheat in the election.

Osman also said that what appeared to be ballots in the videos shared by Veritas were in fact the envelopes that the ballots came in, which voters had asked him to dispose of out of an abundance of caution. In other words, it appears that the Veritas reportage was not only wrong but intentionally and maliciously misleading. At this point, it’s exactly what we should expect from these right-wingers and anyone who fell for their narrative should be embarrassed.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), a woman of color who has faced a barrage of right-wing attacks similar to the one focused on Omar, saw the new report about Osman and tweeted that Tulsi Gabbard “along with everyone else who amplified this fraudulent story” needs to publicly apologize to Omar. As usual, AOC was quick and confident in standing up for an ally and friend. Whether or not Gabbard, a Democrat notorious for lending aid and comfort to the GOP, will actually offer an apology is anyone’s guess.

Omar saw AOC’s defense and sent her a brief thanks while calling out the “lack of integrity” of those involved with the smear. Thankfully, it appears these two will get the last laugh in this little saga.

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