Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, was confronted in an interview Tuesday about an affair she is allegedly having with a married consultant for her campaign.
“Are you separated from your husband? Are you dating somebody?” asked Esme Murphy, a reporter for the Minneapolis CBS affiliate, WCCO-TV.
“No, I am not,” Omar responded in an apparent denial. “And like I said yesterday, I have no interest in allowing the conversation about my personal life to continue, and so I have no desire to discuss it.”
Omar has faced a number of questions about her marital status, but has largely refused to address them. She has often claimed that she is being targeted because she is a Muslim woman.
In a recent divorce filing obtained by the New York Post, the wife of Tim Mynett, a Democratic fundraising strategist, accused him of having an affair with Omar. The freshman congresswoman’s campaigns have paid Mynett’s consulting firm, E Street Group, about $230,000 since 2018, according to FEC data. That is nearly a third of the campaigns’ total expenditures, as the Washington Examiner pointed out.
Using campaign funds to aid an affair would violate FEC regulations.
In 2012, a series of social media posts identified her then-husband, Ahmed Elmi, as her child’s uncle, prompting growing speculation that she married her brother to skirt U.S. immigration law. In June, evidence emerged that Omar probably lied to Minnesota authorities about her knowledge of Elmi’s whereabouts in order to obtain a no-fault divorce.
In July, the Daily Mail reported that Omar had separated from her current husband, Ahmed Hirsi, and the couple were headed toward their second divorce.
Ilhan Omar denies she’s overwhelmed by affair rumors or other scandals
Amid repeated scandals over her rhetoric ― which even leading members of her party have criticized as anti-Semitic ― an Axios poll found that only 9 percent of Democratic voters in swing states view her favorably.
Still, Omar told Murphy that her job “doesn’t ever feel overwhelming because I understand that if I wasn’t shaking things up people wouldn’t be as rattled as they are by my presence.”
“I know who I am,” she said. “My focus is really in doing the work I feel like I was destined to do.”