U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., blasted President Trump’s special envoy to Venezuela on Wednesday over his history of supporting right-wing governments in Latin America and his guilty plea in 1991 to two misdemeanor counts of lying to Congress but started by called him the wrong name.
Omar called Elliot Abrams, the envoy, "Mr. Adams." She went on to ask why he should be believed Wednesday after previously withholding information decades ago about the Iran-Contra affair.
Abrams attempted to respond, but was cut off by the freshman representative, who informed him it was not a question. It was heated and Abrams said it was an "attack."
"It's not right members of this committee can attack a witness who is not permitted to reply," he said.
Omar, who has a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, went on to say that "on Feb. 8, 1982, you [Abrams] testified before the Senate Foreign Relations committee about U.S. policy in El Salvador. In that hearing, you dismissed as communist propaganda the reports about the massacre at El Mozote."
She asked him: You said the "U.S. policy in El Salvador was a ‘fabulous achievement. Yes or no, do you still think so?" Omar pressed, "Do you think that massacre was a fabulous achievement that happened under our watch?"
"That is a ridiculous question, and I will not respond to it," Abrams said. "I'm sorry, Mr. Chairman, I am not going to respond to that kind of personal attack, which is not a question."
Abrams told the committee that he believes increasing international pressure will eventually lead to the ouster of President Nicolas Maduro.
He did not predict when Maduro would step down. But Abrams said “a storm is brewing” inside his government and the Venezuelan leader “will not be able to weather it much longer.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.