Gov. Phil Murphy said Israel blocking two progressive congresswomen from visiting the country at the behest of President Donald Trump “completely outrageous” Thursday.
“I say as a former ambassador, we entertain congressional delegations of all stripes across the political spectrum,” Murphy said. “I even entertained on more than one occasion Steve King from Iowa, and you saw what he said yesterday.”
Murphy was the U.S. Ambassador to Germany from 2009 to 2013.
King is a conservative congressman from Iowa who has lost the support of the Republican National Committee and House Republican leaders over racist statements made over the past decade and a half.
On Wednesday, King asked whether the human race would have gone extinct were it not for rape and incest.
The two congresswomen, Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, are the first Muslim American women elected to Congress.
“It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds,” Trump said on Twitter. “Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!”
Murphy regarded Trump’s actions the same way he regarded the ban itself.
“The fact of the matter is it is their right to travel around and investigate issues around the world, and I think it’s outrageous that the president would have tweeted and encouraged an ally — a staunch ally — to not let them in,” Murphy said.