Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison on Wednesday received an endorsement of sorts from an unlikely figure in his campaign for chair of the Democratic National Committee: President Donald Trump.
“One thing I will say about Rep. Keith Ellison, in his fight to lead the DNC, is that he was the one who predicted early that I would win!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Ellison, a liberal Democrat, predicted all the way back in July 2015 that Trump could win his party’s nomination. At that time, few pundits believed that the real estate mogul had a shot at winning the GOP nomination.
“This man has got some momentum, and we’d better be ready for the fact that he might be leading the Republican ticket,” Ellison said during a panel discussion on ABC’s “This Week.”
The remarks, which were more of a warning, elicited laughter and derision from his fellow panelists and host George Stephanopoulos.
“I know you don’t believe that,” Stephanopoulos said as New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman laughed heartily.
“I’m telling you, stranger things have happened,” Ellison said, noting that his home state elected former wrestler Jesse Ventura as its governor.
Democrats will begin voting on the next party chair over the weekend. Ellison is seen as a favorite alongside former Labor Secretary Tom Perez. Perez has picked up more establishment support while Ellison has landed endorsements from the progressive wing of the party.
Republicans appear to be leaning in favor of an Ellison win because he is seen as a more polarizing choice to lead the DNC, which is still reeling from the forced resignation of Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
A Muslim convert, Ellison was at one time a supporter of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. He has also made remarks in the past that have been viewed as anti-Semitic. And in 2009 and 2010, he headlined fundraising events for Esam Omeish, a Virginia general assembly candidate who once called on Palestinians to embrace “the jihad way.” (RELATED: Keith Ellison Campaigned For Activist Who Called For Palestinians To Embrace ‘The Jihad Way’)