Democratic Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, considered a frontrunner to be the next Democratic National Committee chair, once compared President George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler while speaking to an atheist group in 2007.
Ellison — the nation’s first Muslim congressman — stopped just short of accusing Bush of orchestrating the 9/11 terror attacks.
Speaking of 9/11, Ellison said, “It’s almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that,” according to UK newspaper The Telegraph.
“After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it, and it put the leader [Hitler] of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted,” he said.
Ellison said he wouldn’t accuse Bush of being behind the attacks because “you know, that’s how they put you in the nut-ball box — dismiss you.”
He later walked back his comments, saying he recognized that Osama Bin Laden was behind the attacks that left more than 3,000 Americans dead.
Ellison has also faced scrutiny for his close ties to the Nation of Islam and its leader, Louis Farrakhan. (RELATED: Keith Ellison Wants Anyone But Straight White Men To Apply For Internships)
The Minnesota congressman is favored to win the DNC chair after picking up a slew of endorsements from leading Senate Democrats, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachussetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. (RELATED: Dem Senator: Harry Reid Attack On Trump An ‘Absolute Embarrassment’)