Video: Rep. Ilhan Omar Can’t Stop Chewing While Talking to Reporters About Fallout From Anti-Semitic Tweets

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) spoke to reporters on Capitol Hill Monday evening about the fallout from her anti-Semitic tweets Sunday night and subsequent apology. Omar answered several questions as she momentarily paused before getting on an elevator with staff, answering a few more while on the elevator. Throughout her encounter with the media, Omar furiously chewed on something–even as she was talking.

The video below was taken by CNN’s Ashley Killough and posted by her CNN colleague Manu Raju.

It’s probably chewing gum, or nicotine gum. However, a recent bust in her home state of Minnesota of 500 pounds of khat shows the chewable stimulant plant popular in Omar’s native Somalia is gaining popularity here.


Whatever it was Omar was chewing, she kept right on chewing it when first looking into the camera until the end of the clip where she is seen in the back of the elevator answering one final question.

In the screen image below, Omar’s left cheek bulges out as she chews.

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