Politics & Policy

RNC: Keith Ellison’s Association with Louis Farrakhan a ‘Stain on Democratic Party’

Rep. Keith Ellison speaks at Netroots Nation in Atlanta, August 11, 2017. (Christopher Aluka Berry/Reuters)
Ellison, the DNC deputy chair, has long been dogged by questions about his association with the infamous anti-Semite.

The Republican National Committee is demanding that Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez address DNC deputy chairman Keith Ellison’s decades-long association with infamous anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.

“Keith Ellison’s long pattern of lies about his ongoing relationship with Louis Farrakhan, who the Anti-Defamation League calls ‘America’s leading anti-Semite,’ has put a stain on the Democrat Party,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said in a statement. “Anti-Semitism has no place in American politics, Tom Perez must address this issue.”

Farrakhan, the long-time leader of the Nation of Islam, is a notorious anti-Semite who has called Jews “satanic” and said Hitler was a “very great man.” Ellison was involved with the Nation of Islam in the 1990s, and once deemed Farrakhan a “role model for black youth.” He helped set up the Minnesota delegation to the 1995 Million Man March, which Farrakhan organized and led.

Ellison has tried to downplay his association with Farrakhan and the NOI since 2006, when it became an issue in his first campaign for Congress. He called his previous association with Farrakhan a “mistake” and said, “I have long since distanced myself from and rejected the Nation of Islam due to its propagation of bigoted and anti-Semitic ideas and statements, as well as other issues,” in a letter to a Jewish group during that campaign.

However, the Minnesota congressman has been spotted with Farrakhan on a number of occasions since then, including a 2016 meeting in a hotel suite with  Farrakhan and fellow Democratic representative André Carson, a meeting at an Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va., and a 2013 dinner for the Iranian President.

“He earns Four Pinocchios for suggesting his interactions with Farrakhan ended in 2006,” The Washington Post stated in an article documenting the relationship between the two.

Women’s March co-chair Tamika Mallory also came under fire last week for attending Farrakhan’s Saviours’ Day 2018 Address, at which he called made the “satanic” remark. A Planned Parenthood affiliate cut ties with the Mallory earlier today over her support for Farrakhan.