THE HOT SEAT
Seth Meyers Grills Meghan McCain: Your Rep. Ilhan Omar Comments Are ‘Dangerous’
The late-night host got into it with the conservative heiress on Tuesday night.
On Tuesday evening, conservative heiress Meghan McCain—daughter of the late Senator John McCain, wife of far-right Federalist Publisher Ben Domenech, and the one with the extreme martyr complex on The View—made an appearance on Late Night.
What McCain—who, in case you’ve forgotten, is John McCain’s daughter—was there to promote, other than the art of failing upward, I’m not entirely sure.
After discussing her coveted Saturday Night Live internship, which she undoubtedly received on merit, and name-dropping her father a few times, she dished on what it was like to be parodied by Aidy Bryant on the sketch-comedy program. McCain revealed that she and Bryant went to the same high school (Xavier College Preparatory) and that she found the send-up to be “hilarious,” though both she and her husband were offended that she was portrayed as an “anti-vaxxer” (she wasn’t—that was former View co-host Jenny McCarthy, played by Emma Stone).
Then Meyers got down to business, grilling McCain on her recent appearance on This Week With George Stephanopoulos, on which, one day after the Chabad of Poway synagogue shooting in San Diego, the famous daughter attempted to tie Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) tweets to the attack.
“When we’re having conversations about anti-Semitism, we should be looking at the most extreme on both sides,” McCain said on This Week. “I would bring up Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and some of her comments that got so much attention, and in my opinion Nancy Pelosi wasn’t harsh enough on her for trafficking in anti-Semitic language, talking about ‘All about the Benjamins’ and how Jewish people had ‘hypnotized’ the world.”
John McCain’s daughter was, of course, misrepresenting Rep. Omar’s statements, which were criticizing the Israeli lobby in America—not all Jews—and echoed similar statements that have been made by congresspeople on both sides of the aisle. And again, her husband runs The Federalist, which regularly publishes anti-Semitic drivel.
“You once again, on a Sunday news show, brought up her tweets again in the context of that shooting,” said Meyers. “I do think it’s fairly dangerous, and you brought it up after Congresswoman Omar had also had some death threats against her. She’s obviously now stated she needs to be more careful with her language. Don’t you think people who talk about her need to be a little bit more thoughtful as well? Or do you stand by those comments of tying her rhetoric to the synagogue shooting?”
“I don’t think I tied her to it in particular,” McCain replied (she did). “I think that I’m calling out what I see as anti-Semitic language.”
“But you called it out after she’d apologized for it. I do want to establish the timeline,” Meyers chimed in.
“I don’t… I think the Democrats are hedging on this, and I think it’s very dangerous, and I think Chuck Schumer and I are in alignment about Israel’s stance in geopolitical politics—I think it’s of the utmost importance—and I think she is bringing her party to the extreme… to the extremism on this,” said McCain, stumbling over her straw men.
She added, “I stand by every single thing I’ve said, and if that makes me unpopular in this room or in front of you, so be it.”
“Well, I don’t… See, that’s a weird thing, that you can take the position of trying to be ‘unpopular.’ Here I am trying to find the common ground on this,” explained Meyers, trying to be diplomatic.
“Were you bothered by her language about 9/11?” asked McCain.
Cue Meyers: “I thought it was taken out of context, and I think if you watched that whole speech…”
McCain interrupted: “Would you give President Trump the same leverage if he had said the same thing?”
“Well, I would say that Donald Trump is certainly in no position to criticize her language on 9/11 based on the things that he’s said about 9/11, right?” said Meyers, adding, “Let me make the clarification between Donald Trump and Ilhan Omar, is one of them has apologized and said they’re gonna try to do better and they’re going to be educated by people who know about this—that’s what she said. And it’s an interesting thing when we have two Muslim women for the first time [in Congress], they do have a different perspective on things, and when we talk about ‘let’s try to meet in the middle on things,’ we have to listen to other people’s perspectives.”
Rep. Omar, for the record, was one of the congressional co-sponsors of a bill to reauthorize the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund that aims to help first responders and their families—something that congressional Republicans have repeatedly blocked from being funded. In addition to his numerous lies about 9/11, and his comment that his building was now the tallest in Manhattan on the very day of the attacks (none of which he has apologized for), Donald Trump’s only donation to a 9/11 charity in the wake of the terror attacks was $1,000 to a sketchy Scientology program.
Meyers then addressed how McCain was repeatedly conflating “Jews” with “Israel,” asking, “Is there a way for people to talk about differences in Israeli policy without getting framed as anti-Semitic language?”
“Yeah. I just think you can’t talk about Jews ‘hypnotizing’ the world, talking about ‘All About the Benjamins,’” fired back McCain, again misrepresenting Omar’s tweets.
“You do keep bringing up the two tweets that she’s apologized for, and I think that’s a little unfair to her,” Meyers replied.
“Are you her publicist?” exclaimed an agitated McCain.
“No,” Meyers calmly responded. “I’m just someone who cares about the fact that there’s someone out there who is in a minority, who has had death threats against her, and I think that we should all use the same language. You’re asking her to be careful about her language and I’d ask everyone to be careful about theirs.”
UPDATE: Shortly after the interview aired, McCain’s husband Ben Domenech, founder and publisher of conservative website The Federalist, went on an unhinged Twitter rant, leveling homophobic charges against the Late Night host, and calling him a “piece of shit” and a “cuck.”