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  • Ilhan Omar, a first-year member of Congress, was chosen to sit on the House Foreign Affairs Committee this week.
  • The committee oversees bills and investigations related to US foreign affairs, and has the power to boost or cut US exports of arms and technology to other states.
  • Omar on Thursday said she wanted to “reign in arms sales to human rights abusers like Saudi Arabia.”
  • President Donald Trump has repeatedly refused to do so, saying he didn’t want to jeopardize Saudi money coming into the US.
  • Saudi-owned media has long attempted to tarnish Omar’s image with news articles accusing her of being a secret Muslim Brotherhood member or part of an Islamist faction to control Congress in the past.

Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, the Muslim congresswoman whom Saudi media tried to smear, has been chosen to sit on a powerful House committee that has a huge say over US foreign policy.

Omar confirmed her appointment to the House Foreign Affairs Committee in a press statement on Thursday, adding: “We need to reign in arms sales to human rights abusers like Saudi Arabia.”

The committee oversees bills and investigations related to US foreign affairs, such as foreign aid and exports to other countries.

It also has to power to boost or reign in US exports of military equipment and technology to other countries, such as Saudi Arabia.

President Donald Trump’s administration has come under congressional pressure to condemn Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October. Riyadh has continually sought to distance its leadership from the murder.

Members of Congress in the House and Senate, on both sides of the political aisle, have directly blamed Crown Prince Mohammed for Khashoggi’s death a stance reportedly backed up by the CIA .

But Trump has repeatedly refused to jeopardize his relationship with the Saudi royal family, opting instead to tout the US and Saudi’s cozy relations, lucrative arms deals, and low oil prices. Read more

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