- Eight House Democrats have met with notorious racist and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan during their time in Congress
- Four of those House Democrats now refuse to denounce Farrakhan (and two others have misled the public about their prior relationships with him)
- Farrakahn’s close ties to the Democratic Party has re-emerged as a political issue after he was revealed to have been closer with several House Democrats than they let on.
Four House Democrats revealed to have met with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan during their time in Congress are now refusing Jewish civil rights groups’ pleas to denounce him.
Farrakhan is a notorious racist and anti-Semite whose closeness with the Democratic Party has re-emerged as a political issue due to three recent developments.
First, a Nation of Islam photographer revealed a 13-year-old photo of then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama smiling with Farrakhan at a Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) meeting in 2005. The CBC asked him to suppress the photo’s publication in order to protect Obama’s presidential aspirations, the photographer said. Twenty-one current House Democrats were in the CBC when Farrakhan had his meeting with the caucus.
Second, Women’s March leaders have come out in support Farrakhan gave a rabidly anti-Semitic speech in February with Women’s March leader Tamika Mallory in attendance. The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights organization, slammed Mallory and other Women’s March leaders for their closeness with Farrakhan. Mallory had already faced public scrutiny over her relationship with Farrakhan. When she faced a backlash from attending Farrakhan’s speech, Mallory suggested that Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism made him like Jesus. As of this article, neither Mallory nor the Women’s March has denounced Farrakhan.
Third, new reporting revealed that several House Democrats had closer relationships with Farrakhan than the public had been led to believe. That includes Democratic National Committee (DNC) deputy chair Keith Ellison, who led the public to believe that his relationship with Farrakhan ended in 2006. In fact, Ellison attended multiple meetings with Farrakhan during his time in Congress. That also includes Democratic Illinois Rep. Danny Davis, who described Farrakhan as an “outstanding human being” and said he regularly visited saw Farrakhan, in an interview with The Daily Caller in February.
At least eight House Democrats have attended meetings with Farrakhan during their time in Congress. Four of them denounced Farrakhan as an anti-Semite after an intense backlash that included calls for their resignations. (Those four include Ellison and Davis — more on both of them at the bottom of this article.)
Four House Democrats known to have met with Farrakhan while in Congress have defied calls from Jewish groups to denounce Farrakhan and explain their relationship with the rabid anti-Semite.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
California Rep. Maxine Waters attended a Nation of Islam convention in 2005 where Farrakhan railed against Jews and defended Palestinian suicide bombers. Farrakhan acknowledged Waters’ attendance during his speech and praised her as “our great congresswoman from this area.” The audience applauded her name.
Recently re-emerged footage from 2006 shows Waters and other Congressional Black Caucus members greeting Farrakhan with hugs and handshakes, before standing and talking with him for several minutes.
Waters has not returned TheDCNF’s repeated requests for comment on her relationship with Farrakhan, and she has yet to issue a public statement on Farrakhan.
Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC)
Assistant House Minority Leader James Clyburn shared a stage with Farrakhan in 2011. After Jewish organizations criticized Clyburn taking part in an event with Farrakhan, the South Carolina Democrat brushed off their criticisms. Clyburn told Final Call — a Nation of Islam publication — that he was “not bothered in the least bit” by the criticisms.
Farrakhan discussed the Nation of Islam’s book, “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews,” at the event. The book is “filled with conspiratorial anti-Semitic propaganda,” according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Clyburn declined to condemn Farrakhan in a broadly written statement released to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“I have fought all my life to advance the cause of social justice and equality, and I have always opposed bigotry in all its forms,” Clyburn said in the statement. His office declined repeated inquiries regarding whether the congressman is willing to condemn Farrakhan, and whether he stood by his decision in 2011 to shrug off criticisms of Farrakhan.
Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN)
Indiana Rep. Andre Carson was reported to have attended multiple meetings with Farrakhan and has since admitted that he has met with the hate group leader while in Congress.
Carson joined New York Rep. Gregory Meeks and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, now the deputy DNC chair, at a 2013 dinner hosted by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Farrakhan was present at that dinner. (Meeks condemned Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism on Thursday after a backlash that last several days.)
Carson also joined Ellison in visiting Farrakhan at his hotel room, Farrakhan said in December 2016.
“I have met with him, as have other members of the (CBC),” Carson said in an interview with a local news station. “Talking about anti-crime efforts, discrimination against women and those kinds of things. But I condemn any kind of discrimination, and I’ve been consistent.” Carson did not condemn Farrakhan during the interview. He also did not condemn Farrakhan in a statement released to Politico.
Carson’s office has not yet returned TheDCNF’s inquiries into whether he is willing to denounce Farrakhan.
Rep. Al Green (D-TX)
Texas Rep. Al Green was one of several CBC members, including Waters, to meet with Farrakhan at the 2006 event. Green gave Farrakhan a warm embrace and stood and talked with him for several minutes, video posted to YouTube shows.
Green has not returned TheDCNF’s repeated inquiries into whether he is willing to condemn Farrakhan. His office also did not return Politico’s request for comment on Farrakhan.
Bonus I: Keith Ellison’s Words Vs. Keith Ellison’s Actions
Ellison has repeatedly portrayed his relationship with Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam as non-existent since he first ran for Congress in 2006. “Man, I’m telling you back in 2006 and before, I disavowed them. That’s the ridiculous thing about this, that we keep on having to answer this kind of stuff,” Ellison told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in December 2016.
The facts tell a different story. Ellison attended at least three meetings with Farrakhan during his time in Congress, The Daily Caller reported in February. Ellison may have denounced Farrakhan 12 years ago, but the facts show he continued privately meeting and associating with Farrakhan long after he denounced him.
The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler fact-checked Ellison’s claim to have cut off his relationship with Farrakhan by 2006. Kessler awarded Ellison’s claim “Four Pinnochios” — the worst possible fact-check rating, which the Post reserves for “whoppers.”
Bonus II: Danny Davis’s Words Vs. Danny Davis’s Words
Davis went on the record twice to defend and praise Farrakhan. Davis called Farrakhan an “outstanding human being,” said he regularly visits Farrakhan including at home, and said he wasn’t bothered by Farrakhan’s answer to “the Jewish question.” (Farrakhan regularly Jews satanic and has praised Adolf Hitler as a “very great man.”)
Davis released a statement through his office on Friday, saying he now denounces Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic remarks.
The statement did not explain why Davis: openly admitted to having a personal relationship with Farrakhan, why he said he wasn’t bothered by Farrakhan’s position on “the Jewish question,” and why he called Farrakhan an “outstanding human being.”