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Tlaib meets with Biden campaign manager as president seeks to ease progressive concerns over Israel

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Rep. Rashida Tlaib met with President Joe Biden’s campaign manager last week as the president seeks to patch up relations with key Democratic groups, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Tlaib (D-Mich.) has been an outspoken critic of the Biden administration’s approach to the Israel-Gaza war. Her district includes the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, which has a large Arab American population.

A spokesperson for the progressive lawmaker did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Biden campaign declined to comment.

Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Chávez Rodriguez, had traveled to Michigan last Friday to meet with a wide range of elected officials and local leaders ahead of the Feb. 27 primary, amid flagging support for the president among minority groups seething over the Gaza war. Some of the leaders — including Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud and Michigan state Rep. Alabas Farhat, a Democrat who represents Dearborn — publicly declined to meet with her in protest.

Tlaib, the sole Palestinian American in Congress, has publicly criticized the Biden administration’s handling of the war, prompting a generally frosty relationship between her and the White House. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had denounced Talib’s comments at the outset of the war, in which she grieved lives lost on both sides and criticized Israel’s “apartheid government” days after the attack, as “repugnant.”