Rep. Dan Kildee said Monday he wouldn't necessarily call a tweet from freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar anti-Semitic after she claimed a pro-Israel lobbying group was buying off lawmakers, but he would say she is concerned that money has an "undue influence" on political decisions.
"I would say that she probably objects to the fact that when it comes to issues around foreign policy or comes to issues specifically to Israel, there are a lot of interests, a lot of folks who make campaign contributions based on a person's position on Israel," the Michigan Democrat told CNN's "New Day." "I think we ought to be careful not to construe that in anything other than a concern about the fact that money has an undue influence on political decision making."
The American Jewish Committee has criticized Omar, D-Minn., after she replied "AIPAC!" to a question about who she thinks is paying politicians to be pro-Israel.
Kildee said he knows Omar, and he does not believe she would "harbor those sorts of views as they've been characterized.
"Obviously, it's a problem that she sees that she wants to address," he said, "but I don't think we ought to go too far in trying to make judgments about whether there's some anti-Semitism involved in it. She may just object about how too much money is involved in these decisions."
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