Omar zings Trump’s ‘weather map lies’
Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar has said the Trump administration cannot be trusted to provide the facts on Iran given that it "lies about weather maps or crowd sizes."
The Congressional representative, who is a member of "The Squad" group of four women that have been attacked by President Trump, told CNN's Erin Burnett that the President doesn't have the right to declare war unilaterally.
"I think we need to make sure that the American people understand that this administration - that lies about weather maps or crowd sizes - cannot be trusted to give us the full information we need to be able to make a decision whether we should be going to war or not with Iran," she said.
Omar was referring to a recent picture shared by the Trump administration that appeared to show it had been given a "sharpie edit" to fit the President's remarks. The White House also famously got into a spat with reporters over the size of President Trump's inauguration crowd.
"We are not in a position to think about another endless war and I really hope that my colleagues in Congress are going to pressure this administration to take a step back and figure out how we use diplomacy in the de-escalating the situation," she added.
It comes as tensions rise over an attack on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure that has damaged production capacity and sparked a fresh wave of vitriol between the US and Iranian leaders.
On Wednesday, US officials said the attack on Saudi Arabia came from Iran. Meanwhile, Iran's supreme leader ruled out negotiations with the US "at any level" after Washington pinned blame for the attack on Tehran.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the US adopted a policy of "maximum pressure" on Iran because it believes it cannot bring the Islamic republic to its knees through other means.
"The policy of 'maximum pressure' against the Iranian nation is worthless and all Islamic Republic of Iran officials unanimously believe there will be no negotiations with the US at any level," he said in a televised address.
Tensions between Iran and the US and its allies have threatened to boil over since May last year when President Donald Trump abandoned a 2015 nuclear deal and began reimposing sanctions in its campaign of "maximum pressure".
Iran responded by scaling back its commitments under the landmark accord, which gave it the promise of sanctions relief in return for limiting the scope of its nuclear program.
Trump said the US was ready to help Saudi Arabia after the attacks that halted about six per cent of the world's oil supply and triggered a record leap in crude prices.
"I'm not looking to get into new conflict, but sometimes you have to," he said. "That was a very large attack, and it could be met by an attack many, many times larger.
A day after the attacks, the White House had said Trump could meet his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York next week.
Rouhani has already rejected the possibility of direct negotiations with the US unless it lifts all sanctions.
The Iranian president has said even if the sanctions are lifted, any talks must be held in the framework of the nuclear accord.
Omar has previously made news in the US for comments describing the 9/11 terrorist attacks in which she said "some people did something."
The comment was printed on a T-shirt and worn by Nicholas Haros Jr - who lost his mother in the attack - at this year's commemoration ceremony. On Sunday, Omar clarified her comments, saying the 9/11 attack was "on all of us."
"It was an attack on all of us and I certainly could not understand the weight of the pain that the victims of the families of 9/11 must feel, but I think it is really important for us to make sure that we are not forgetting the aftermath of what happened after 9/11," she said Sunday. "Many Americans found themselves now having their civil rights stripped from them, and so what I was speaking to was the fact that as a Muslim, not only was I suffering as an American who was attacked on that day, but the next day I woke up as my fellow Americans were now treating me as a suspect."