- At least seven House Democrats are known to have direct ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan
- Farrakhan is a notorious anti-Semite and racist
- A photo shows Barack Obama smiling with Farrakhan at a Congressional Black Caucus meeting in 2005
At least seven House Democrats are known to have direct ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a notorious anti-Semite and racist who has called Jews “satanic” and said white people “deserve to die.”
California Reps. Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee, Illinois Rep. Danny Davis, Indiana Rep. Andre Carson, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, New York Rep. Gregory Meeks and Texas Rep. Al Green have all attended meetings with Farrakhan while in Congress, according to photos, videos and witness accounts of the meetings reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
With the exception of Davis, the Democratic representatives have ignored repeated requests for comment regarding their relationships with Farrakhan.
Davis has a personal relationship with Farrakhan and is unbothered by Farrakhan’s position on “the Jewish question,” he told TheDCNF on Sunday. Davis called Farrakhan an “outstanding human being” in an interview with The Daily Caller in February and said he has regularly visited with Farrakhan.
Davis’s office released a statement attributed to the congressman on Monday that attacked TheDCNF for accurately covering his comments. The statement, which did not mention Farrakhan, claimed that anti-Semitism is “antithetical to everything I believe and everything that I work for on a daily basis.” Davis’s attack on reporters covering his claims came after the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights organization, blasted the congressman for praising Farrakhan and called on him to denounce the Nation of Islam leader. As of this article, Davis has yet to condemn Farrakhan.
Ellison, the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), repeatedly attended meetings with Farrakhan while in Congress, according to photos and videos reviewed by TheDCNF and Farrakhan’s own statements.
Ellison is a former Nation of Islam member and once defended Farrakhan against claims of anti-Semitism but claimed in 2006 when he ran for Congress that he had left Farrakhan in his past. The meetings Ellison has since attended with Farrakhan undercut his claims of cutting ties.
Davis compared Ellison’s relationship to Farrakhan to that of a fallen-away Christian’s relationship with Jesus, in his interview with TheDCNF on Sunday.
“I don’t know that Keith knows Farrakhan as well as I do — in fact, I know he doesn’t,” Davis said. “I don’t think that Keith is no person who is super engaged with Farrakhan, he just happens to be a movement. Just like many of the folks who are Christians, they’re not super engaged with Jesus, but they say they Christians.”
Carson and Meeks joined Ellison in attending a 2013 dinner with Farrakhan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Carson and Ellison also visited Farrakhan in a hotel room in recent years, according to Farrakhan, who said in a December 2016 video that he was baffled Ellison had denounced him that month while running for DNC chair. Ellison and Carson had both visited Farrakhan during a recent trip to Washington, Farrakhan said.
When asked about the meetings by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Ellison dodged the question and wouldn’t deny visiting Farrakhan in his hotel room. Carson has also declined to challenge Farrakhan’s account of that meeting.
Waters attended a Nation of Islam convention in 2002, where Farrakhan railed against Jews and defended Palestinian suicide bombers, The Daily Caller revealed in February. Farrakhan praised Waters during his speech, to applause from the audience of Nation of Islam members.
Recently re-emerged footage from 2006 show Waters, Green and Lee exchanging handshakes and hugs with Farrakhan, before standing and conversing with him.
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) held a meeting with Farrakhan in 2005 where then Democratic Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois was photographed smiling with Farrakhan.
The photographer, who worked for a Nation of Islam publication, said he suppressed the photo for 13 years at the request of CBC Democrats who wanted to protect Obama’s presidential aspirations. He released the photo in January.
Twenty-one current CBC members were part of the caucus in 2005 when Farrakhan attended a CBC meeting. TheDC reached out to all 21 members’ offices to ask if they were willing to denounce Farrakhan. None would.
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