Ayanna Pressley blasts Laura Ingraham for mocking Ilhan Omar’s PTSD comments

"I know you think war’s a for profit video game."

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 05:  U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) speaks as Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) listens during a news conference December 5, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Rep. Ilhan Omar held the news conference to introduce legislation to end discriminatory and punitive school discipline policies targeting students of color. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Rep. Ayanna Pressley speaks during a press conference last month with Rep. Ilhan Omar in Washington, D.C. –Alex Wong / Getty Images

Rep. Ayanna Pressley came to the defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar this week, after the Minnesota congresswoman’s remarks about having PTSD from her early childhood in war-torn Somalia were mocked by Fox News host Laura Ingraham.

During a press conference Wednesday, Omar said she felt “ill” and “stricken with PTSD” when she heard “conversations around war,” following President Donald Trump’s military actions against Iran.

Her comments about having post-traumatic stress disorder from the experience was criticized Wednesday by at least one Republican congressman as “offensive” to American military veterans. And Ingraham shortly thereafter piled on.

“Call the medic!” she tweeted, adding that Omar’s comments last August about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks — which some Republicans construed as “dismissive” of the attacks — “made a lot of American way more ill (and angry).”


In response, Pressley noted that Omar was 8 years old when she and her family fled their civil-war ravaged country to the United States as refugees in the 1990s (Omar made it to the United States when she was 12, after spending four years in a Kenyan refugee camp).

“I know you think war’s a for profit video game,” Pressley tweeted at Ingraham, “but you’d be wise to take a seat and take your cues from folks like Ilhan who actually know what they’re talking about.”

The Massachusetts congresswoman was echoed by several fellow Democrats. Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan called Ingraham’s comments “despicable.” Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego noted Thursday that the House had “heard our white female colleagues talk about their PTSD from domestic violence” without any backlash.

“Trauma is trauma,” former Missouri attorney general and Army veteran Jason Kander tweeted. “A uniform is not required.”

In response to Rep. Jim Banks, the Indiana Republican who called her comments “offensive,” Omar reiterated that she deals with PTSD “like many who have served or lived through war.”

“It’s shameful that you as a member of Congress would erase the PTSD of survivors,” she wrote.

Banks (a Navy veteran himself) and Ingraham subsequently changed the subject to footage that showed Omar briefly sharing a laugh with a fellow congresswoman at another point during the press conference Wednesday.


The back-and-forth comes ahead of a scheduled House vote Thursday to limit Trump’s power to take military action against Iran without congressional approval.

Perhaps ironically, Omar and Ingraham have come to share a degree of overlap when it comes to escalating tensions in the Middle East. Based on her experience living in a “war zone,” Omar has warned that military action would only result in more violence and further destabilize the Middle East. Ingraham, who previously supported invading Iraq, is now warning Trump against further military action against Iran, per Mediaite.

‘The president I think is very smart enough to know that another war of choice or needless escalation will end up harming American interests, not to speak of his reelection chances,” she said on her show Tuesday.

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