Ilhan Omar
Ilhan OmarReuters

Embattled House Democrat Ilhan Omar of Minnesota won the backing of former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke Thursday evening, amid an ongoing scandal over allegations Omar repeatedly peddled in anti-Semitic tropes during dustups with fellow lawmakers.

On Thursday, Duke lauded Omar on his Thunder and Lightning webcast, calling her the “most important member of the US Congress”, citing her “defiance to ZOG [Zionist Occupied Government].”

“Simply stated, she is important because the dared expose the gorilla in Congress that nobody dares speak,” Duke later tweeted. “There is no salvation of our people heritage, rights and freedom until Z.O.G is overthrown!”

Duke, a former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, called the criticism on Omar’s comments a “big mistake for our Zio-establishment, the Jewish establishment of media and government.”

Image of Omar on Duke's website, with 'heart eyes' superimposed
Image of Omar on Duke's website, with 'heart eyes' superimposedScreenshot

“I’m elated by the huge controversy that’s going on now,” Duke continued, saying Omar’s comments and the subsequent backlash brought into focus what he claims is Israeli influence and “the power of the Jewish elite” over the US government.

“We truly do have a…Zionist Occupied Government,” said Duke, referring to the canard promoted by Duke and others that the US government has been subverted by a group of pro-Israel Jews.

In a tweet Friday, Duke again lauded Omar, touting the “bravery of a 100lb Muslim woman”.

“I made this provocative statement cause the worst enemy of the USA, Europeans and the Middle East & the whole world & true peace are the Zionist tyrants who rule media and politics. Sadly, This 100lb girl has more guts than any white member of congress!”

The former KKK leader also attacked President Trump on Twitter Friday morning, suggesting his loyalties lie with Israel, rather than the US, uploading a picture of the president holding an Israeli flag, ignoring a group of Democratic lawmakers trampling the US flag.

While Duke has distanced himself from the KKK following his departure from the group, he later founded the National Association for the Advancement of White People, an organization accused of promoting white supremacy and anti-Semitism under the guise of “equal rights” for white Americans.

Duke has also been widely condemned for his Holocaust denial and conspiracy theories alleging Jewish plots to control the US government and monetary system, and to actively promote homosexuality and the ultimate destruction of the white race.

Omar, a freshman congresswoman and Somali immigrant who entered the US as a refugee, has been the center of an ongoing debate over a Democratic resolution in the House originally aimed at condemning anti-Semitism.

The Minnesota Democrat has been accused by both Republicans and Democrats of channeling classic anti-Semitic canards regarding Jewish influence and dual allegiances, after she accused a pro-Israel Jewish group of buying off Congress to back Israel, and suggesting her critics were loyal to a foreign country – Israel.

The freshman congresswoman also drew criticism over a 2012 social media post in which she accused Israel of ‘hypnotizing’ the world. Omar later said her choice of words was “unfortunate” but fell short of apologizing for the comment.

Following pressure from Republicans to punish Omar, the Democratic House delegation drafted a resolution condemning anti-Semitism.

On Wednesday, however, the measure, which had originally been drafted as a response to Omar’s comments, was reframed as a general condemnation of bigotry, targeting not only anti-Semitism but also white supremacism and ‘Islamophobia’.

Republicans ripped the House’s Democratic delegation not only for diluting the resolution’s original focus on anti-Semitism, but also its failure to call out Omar by name.