Ilhan Omar calls out Buttigieg campaign for Douglass Plan stock photo: 'Not ok or necessary'

Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarHow language is bringing down Donald Trump Biden, Democrats seek to shut down calls to defund police McEnany, Ocasio-Cortez tangle over ‘Biden adviser’ label MORE (D-Minn.) hit out at South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE’s (D) presidential campaign for using a stock photo of a Kenyan woman to promote Buttigieg’s racial justice plan, called the Douglass Plan.

“This is not ok or necessary,” Omar tweeted, linking to a tweet by The Intercept D.C. bureau chief Ryan Grim, who first highlighted the use of the photo, saying the unnamed woman had “reached out to me very confused.”

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Grim wrote that the woman messaged him, “What’s the meaning of the message accompanied by the photo? Have no idea of what’s happening…”

“Background is that a photographer made the photo available online for free. A stock photo place grabbed it, and Pete grabbed it from there. She didn’t intend to pose for a stock photo but did agree to be photographed,” Grim later added.

“This photo was removed from the page on our website promoting the Douglass Plan months ago as part of an update to the page. The stock photo, which is widely utilized across the internet, was initially selected while a contractor was running our site, and the stock photo website it was pulled from did not indicate the photo was taken in Kenya, nor did it identify the woman as being from Kenya in any way,” a spokesperson for the Buttigieg campaign told The Hill.

“Using stock photos on websites is standard practice but as our campaign has grown, we have brought all of our web development in-house to guard against mistakes like this,” the spokesperson added. “We apologize for any confusion this caused.”

Buttigieg’s campaign has surged in Iowa in recent weeks but has struggled to attract support among African Americans, a key Democratic voter bloc.

Omar has endorsed Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

Updated at 10:38 a.m.

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