The State Department should carefully screen recipients of all future awards it plans to hand out to avoid embarrassments like Samira Ibrahim, New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett says.
“[This] raises some really fundamental questions of whether these things the State Department does are checked in any degree whatsoever,’’ Garrett told Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show.’’
“Or is it just part of a political agenda that they have?’’
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Ibrahim, an Egyptian activist, was to receive an International Women of Courage award from Secretary of State John Kerry and first lady Michelle Obama.
But the award was postponed after The Weekly Standard revealed her Twitter account contained anti-Semitic and anti-American comments.
In one tweet, the death of five Israelis in a bus explosion is hailed as "good news.’’ In another, Saudi Arabia's royal family is called "dirtier than Jews.’’ Ibrahim claims her account was hacked.
Garrett, who represents the Garden State’s Fifth District, said he was stunned that no red flags were raised since Ibrahim’s alleged comments were so easily accessible.
“How is it that it’s out in the general domain?’’ he said. “The State Department, currently has a lack of due diligence when they make these decisions as to who are going to receive these awards.’’
Garrett said he has written a letter to the State Department and Michelle Obama expressing his concerns about the gaffe.
“I have a feeling that our State Department has probably turned a blind eye to this type of thing in the past,’’ he said. “It’s probably just part and parcel with their conduct.’’
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