House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has denounced GOP criticism of Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who drew backlash over her comments about the creation of Israel.
Pelosi joined Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., who earlier Monday called on Republicans to apologize.
"Republicans' desperate attempts to smear @RepRashida and misrepresent her comments are outrageous," the speaker said on Twitter. "President Trump and the House GOP should apologize to Rep. Tlaib and the American people for their gross misrepresentations."
Republicans have called on Democrats to take action against Tlaib, who claimed Palestinians are responsible for creating a safe haven for Jews.
"There's kind of a calming feeling I always tell folks when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors, Palestinians, who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people's passports," Tlaib said on the Yahoo News podcast "Skullduggery."
Republican Conference Chairwoman and Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney called the remarks "sickening," saying Democrats must do more to deal with a pattern of behavior by lawmakers that could be viewed as anti-Semitic.
Democrats came under fire last week after inviting Imam Omar Suleiman to deliver the opening prayer in the chamber. Suleiman has made anti-Semitic remarks and called for the destruction of Israel.
Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar has been criticized several times over anti-Semitic remarks and tweets, leading to a watered-down House floor rebuke. But Democrats are standing behind Tlaib.
"It's clear this is now the norm for their caucus," Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said in a statement, calling Tlaib's remarks "vile."
But Hoyer said the comments were taken out of context.
"If you read Rep. @RashidaTlaib's comments, it is clear that President Trump and Congressional Republicans are taking them out of context," Hoyer tweeted Monday. "They must stop, and they owe her an apology."