Statement Analysis®

Did Rep. Ilhan Omar have an affair?

This month Dr. Beth Jordan Mynett filed for divorce from her husband Tim Mynett. Tim is a Democratic operative who works for Rep. Ilhan Omar's campaign. Dr. Mynett has stated her husband told her he was having an affair with Omar. Omar was interviewed by reporter Esme Murphy who asked Omar about the alleged affair.

Murphy: "Are you separated from your husband? Are you dating somebody?"
Omar:   "No, I am not. And like I said yesterday, I have no interest in allowing the conversation about my personal life to continue and so I have no desire to discuss it."

When we are soliciting information, we never ask compound questions. Compound questions make it easy for the person to get away with not answering one of your questions. Omar answered, "No, I am not" but to what question? No, I am not separated from my husband? No, I am not dating somebody? It is very easy to assume she is saying "No, I am not" to both questions but we don't know that. If what Dr. Murphy is saying is true, then Omar is only denying she is separated from her husband.

Murphy use of the word "dating" is also problematic. Everyone has their own personal dictionary. Certain words mean certain things to people. Most people who are having an affair would not view that as "dating." Therefore, Omar may be truthfully saying, "No, I am not dating."

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