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MSNBC panel deflects Rep. Ilhan Omar anti-Semitism criticism, blames Trump instead

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MSNBC panel deflects Rep. Ilhan Omar anti-Semitism criticism, blames Trump instead

An MSNBC panel on Wednesday night defended Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, who is under fire again comments critics say are anti-Semitic.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of the left-leaning pro-two state solution lobbying group J Street, immediately deflected the charges of anti-Semitism away from the freshman congresswoman and towards President Donald Trump, insisting that a discussion about “hate and intolerance” should “start at the top.”

REP. ILHAN OMAR SPARS WITH FELLOW DEMOCRATS OVER ISRAEL COMMENTS, FACES NEW CALLS TO BE REMOVED FROM COMMITTEE

“Let’s have the a discussion about the xenophobia and the racism that’s coming from the other side of the aisle and let’s stop using the discussion of anti-Semitism as a way of avoiding a real discussion about policy towards Israel and Palestine and the issues that are actually on the table about occupation and the treatment of Palestinians,” Ben-Ami told MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Wednesday night. “There’s an attempt to silence the debate by focusing the discussion on the question of anti-Semitism rather than the underlying issue that really needs to be discussed, which is our American policy towards the region.”

Al Jazeera host and The Intercept columnist, Mehdi Hasan conceded that Omar “may be unwittingly echoed tropes” of anti-Semitism, but slammed the “awful” media coverage of her remarks.

ILHAN OMAR’S AIPAC TWEET SPARKS CONDEMNATION, INCLUDING FROM CHELSEA CLINTON

“She hasn’t said anything about Jews. She has not said one word about Jews,” Hasan argued. “She talked about supporters of Israel insisting that politicians in the U.S. should show allegiance to Israel and that’s kind of undeniable. I mean, that’s been reported on for years… A lot of the good-faith criticism is based on kind of misreporting of what she’s said and done.”

“The idea that the Republican Party is going to give anyone lectures on anti-Semitism is like starting to take lectures on climate change from the Republican Party,” Hasan continued. “I mean, these are the guys who are trafficking in ‘globalists,’ ‘Soros,’ all this language that helped inspire the guy who walked into a synagogue in October and murdered 11 Jewish worshipers. That wasn’t a guy who was inspired by Ilhan Omar. That was a guy who believed in the same kind of conspiracy theories as Donald Trump and Republican members of Congress day in and day out.”

PELOSI, DEM LEADERS CONDEMN REP. OMAR FOR ‘ANTI-SEMITIC’ LANGUAGE

Omar, who became the first Somali-American woman elected to Congress in November, has received criticism from both sides of the political aisle over comments for what many deemed anti-Semitic. Last month, Omar apologized for comments in which she implied that prominent pro-Israel lobby American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) compensated lawmakers for their support of the Jewish state, but insisted on what she called “the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics.”

The tweet was just the latest in a string of statements by Omar that have been slammed for being anti-Semitic. In 2012, she tweeted that “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel. #Gaza #Palestine#Israel.” She did not apologize for posting the tweet until last January.

DEM REP. OMAR APOLOGIZES FOR ISRAEL COMMENTS, CALLS OUT ‘PROBLEMATIC’ ROLE OF AIPAC, ‘OTHER LOBBYISTS’

Omar also argued in a January Yahoo! News interview that Israel could not be considered a democracy and compared it to the Islamic theocracy in Iran.

“When I see Israel institute laws that recognize it as a Jewish state and does not recognize the other religions that are living in it, and we still uphold it as a democracy in the Middle East I almost chuckle because I know that if we see that any other society we would criticize it, call it out,” she said. “We do that to Iran, we do that to any other place that sort of upholds its religion. And I see that now happening with Saudi Arabia and so I am aggravated, truly, in those contradictions.”

Omar’s remarks have prompted her own party, in an effort led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to issue a resolution condemning anti-Semitism — but the House vote has been delayed.

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The declaration – which doesn’t mention Omar by name – was initially set to be introduced Wednesday. It was to set out the history of anti-Semitism and other bigotry in America and provide examples of anti-Jewish tropes about divided loyalties.

It was also supposed to say the House “rejects anti-Semitism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States.”

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Cory Booker calls girlfriend Rosario Dawson a ‘wonderful,’ ‘incredible human being’

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Cory Booker calls girlfriend Rosario Dawson a 'wonderful,' 'incredible human being'

Cory Booker couldn’t contain his love for girlfriend Rosario Dawson.

The New Jersey senator, 49, stopped by “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Wednesday to chat about his 2020 presidential run and the conversation shifted to the new woman in his life and their budding relationship.

“She was visiting me in D.C., and then she left to the airport, and she got ambushed at the airport,” he said of Dawson who confirmed their relationship status to TMZ when cameras caught up to her.

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“She was wonderful and she’s just an incredible human being,” he added of the actress.

Booker is also aware that balancing in a relationship while campaigning will be a challenging task. “As our relationship grows it’s difficult, but she is such a deeply soulful person,” he revealed. “[She] has taught me a lot of lessons about love already. That sometimes, you show the greatest strength when you make yourself vulnerable.”

“She really has this nurturing spirit that’s made me more courageous, not just in the love that I project and want to see in our country, but I think even in our own personal relationships to love more fearlessly,” he continued. “So, I’m very, very blessed to be with somebody that makes me a better person.”

DeGeneres even joked about officiating their potential White House wedding and said it would be like America’s version of a royal wedding.

Dawson said of Booker last week, “I am just grateful to be with someone that I respect and love and admire so much” and she’s really enjoying the time they get to spend with each other.

The couple first made headlines in January when they were reportedly spotted seeing a Broadway show together.

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Katie Couric revealed she once went on a date with Cory Booker

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Katie Couric revealed she once went on a date with Cory Booker

Katie Couric revealed a surprising bit of information about her dating life while on “The Wendy Williams Show” this week.

The 62-year-old confessed she once went on a date with 2020 presidential hopeful Cory Booker.

“I had a blind date with Cory Booker once,” she said Wednesday. “Wow, this just in! We went to a Giants football game.” Williams then prodded further and asked if they kissed to which Couric sadly admitted no.

CORY BOOKER CONFIRMS HE’S DATING ROSARIO DAWSON: ‘I’M VERY HAPPY ABOUT IT’

“He was really nice though,” the former “Today” show added. “This is a long time ago. He’s an incredible person.”

Couric also offered her opinion on the New Jersey Senator’s current girlfriend, actress Rosario Dawson.

“I really like Cory and I really like Rosario Dawson, I’m happy for them,” she said. “Look how beautiful she is. She’s also very politically active, she’s spoken out about gender equality, she cares deeply about stopping domestic violence. She’s a really cool woman.”

Couric even though that Dawson would make a great first lady if Booker were to go all the way.

Booker confirmed his relationship status to Ellen DeGeneres on Wednesday while making an appearance on her show. “As our relationship grows, it’s difficult, but she is such a deeply soulful person,” he said.

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“[She] has taught me a lot of lessons about love already. Sometimes, you show the greatest strength when you make yourself vulnerable. She really has this nurturing spirit that has made me more courageous not just in the love that I project and want to see in our country, but I think in our own personal relationships to love more fearlessly,” Booker added.

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Jim Carrey slams Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman in college admission scandal-inspired painting

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Jim Carrey slams Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman in college admission scandal-inspired painting

Jim Carrey just “flunked” actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman in his recent painting inspired by the college admission scandal.

The 57-year-old actor took to Twitter Monday to share his recent creation.

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“It’s not only Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman and their kids, but ALL cheaters who will eventually receive a failing grade,” he wrote alongside the artwork, which included a red “F” grade.

The scandal involved wealthy families allegedly paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to secure a place for their children at some of the nation’s most prestigious universities such as Yale, the University of Southern California and Georgetown, among others.

In some cases, according to court records released last week, parents would pay the scheme’s alleged “ringleader” — William Rick Singer of California — to bribe the coaches to fill slots the universities allocated for new players with his clients’ children. To evade suspicion, the coaches and Singer would purportedly tell the prospective students to pose for pictures or would alter stock images and Photoshop their faces onto athletes’ bodies to support athletics-based admissions.

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In total, 50 people, including “Desperate Housewives” star Huffman and “Full House” alum Loughlin, were charged in the scheme.

As for Loughlin, specifically, she and fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli allegedly paid $500,000 in bribes to have their two daughters — YouTube star Olivia Jade Giannulli and her older sister Isabella — designated as recruits for the USC crew team despite the fact that neither participated in the sport.

A video Olivia posted to her YouTube channel in August of 2018 resurfaced as a result of the scandal, causing the teen to face backlash as well. At the time, she said she didn’t “really care about school.”

Carrey isn’t the only celebrity who has responded to the scandal. Model Chrissy Teigen, “Grace and Frankie” actor Ethan Embry and “Mindy Project” star Ike Barinholtz, among others, took to social media last week to mock Huffman and Loughlin and others for their alleged involvement in the scheme.

Fox News’ Jennifer Earl contributed to this report.

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