Larsen ignores call to give up position after Omar post

State News

FILE – In this March 4, 2015 file photo, Sen. Oley Larsen, R-Minot, speaks in Bismarck, N.D. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., has condemned the Republican state senator from North Dakota who posted a long-debunked photo on his Facebook page that purports to show the Minnesota Democrat holding a weapon at an al-Qaida training camp. Larsen has since removed the photo, which has been debunked by several sources since it appeared on social media over the summer. Omar calls the post “pure propaganda designed to stir up hate and violence.”(AP Photo/The Bismarck Tribune, Tom Stromme File)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Latest on North Dakota State Senator Oley Larsen”s post of bogus photo of Omar on Facebook (all times local):

11:15 a.m.

A Republican state senator from North Dakota says he’s sorry for spreading “fake news” by posting a long-debunked photo that claims to be Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar holding a weapon at an al-Qaida training camp.

But Sen. Oley Larsen says in a Facebook post he’s not apologizing to Omar.

Larsen says “there is ample evidence that she is grossly sympathetic to the cause of certain religious extremists.”

A spokesman for Omar didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Majority Leader Rich Wardner and GOP Gov. Doug Burgum called on Larsen Tuesday to apologize and relinquish his position as president pro tempore. Larsen says he won’t quit that position.

___

10:15 a.m.

The North Dakota Senate’s top Republican says a fellow state senator is refusing to step down from a leadership position after posting on Facebook a long-debunked photo that claims to be Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar holding a weapon at an al-Qaida training camp.

Majority Leader Rich Wardner and GOP Gov. Doug Burgum have called on state Sen. Oley Larsen to apologize and relinquish his position as president pro tempore.

Wardner says he spoke with Larsen on Tuesday night. He says Larsen told him he would fight any attempt to be removed from the leadership position. Wardner says Larsen believes he’s done nothing wrong.

Larsen hasn’t returned repeated phone calls from The Associated Press.

Wardner says he will meet with the state Senate’s GOP caucus before deciding what to do next.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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