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Illinois GOP congresswoman apologizes for quoting Hitler

Illinois GOP congresswoman apologizes for quoting Hitler

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GOP Freshman Photo

Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill., is seen during a group photo with freshmen members of the House Republican Conference on the House steps of the Capitol on Jan. 4.

CHICAGO — A freshman Republican congresswoman from downstate Illinois apologized Friday for knowingly quoting Adolf Hitler during a rally outside of the U.S. Capitol this week.

Rep. Mary Miller, who was among the Republicans who tried to challenge the certification of certain Electoral College votes that went to incoming President Joe Biden, issued the apology in the face of calls for her to resign.

“I sincerely apologize for any harm my words caused and regret using a reference to one of the most evil dictators in history to illustrate the dangers that outside influences can have on our youth. This dark history should never be repeated,” the newly sworn-in congresswoman said in a statement.

Miller, who succeeded the retiring John Shimkus in Illinois’ 15th District, spoke Tuesday at a “Save the Republic Rally” hosted by a conservative group, “Moms for America.” While discussing the need for her party to appeal to young people, she said: “Hitler was right on one thing. He said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future.’”

The rally took place a day before supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol.

In her apology, Miller also said “some are trying to intentionally twist my words to mean something antithetical to my beliefs.”

“Let me be clear: I’m passionately pro-Israel and I will always be a strong advocate and ally of the Jewish community. I’ve been in discussion with Jewish leaders across the country and am grateful to them for their kindness and forthrightness,” Miller said.

Several prominent Illinois Democrats have called on Miller to resign, including Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Marie Newman. Democratic legislators circulated a petition calling on her to step down immediately.

“There are some things that cross a very definite line and that was one of them,” said Schakowsky, who is Jewish. “At a moment like this, when emotions have been so high on all sides, to invoke the name of Hitler was about as inappropriate and wrong as you can get.”

Miller, a farmer, is from Oakland, a small city about 150 miles east of St. Louis. Her district includes much of southeastern Illinois, but stretches into the eastern half of Madison County and includes all or part of Bond, Clinton and Washington counties.

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