The head of the nation’s largest Jewish civil rights organization called it “extremely disturbing” that three Democratic congressmen, including the vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), attended a private dinner with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Democratic Reps. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Andre Carson of Indiana and Gregory Meeks of New York in 2013 attended the private dinner, which only became public on Friday. (RELATED: Three Democrats Attended Private Dinner With Iran’s President And Louis Farrakhan)
“Based on what we know, its extremely disturbing that Dem reps or members of any political group would attend a session hosted by hatemongers,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said Monday.
“Yes, there may have been many ppl there but the presence of Louis Farrakhan should have been a red flag. He is an unrepentant anti-Semite who has said Jews are Satanic & responsible for 9/11,” Greenblatt said.
The three Democrats owe an explanation to their constituents, as well as to the Jewish community, Greenblatt added.
Ellison, who is also vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), has a long history of ties to radical figures and movements — including Farrakhan — and sparked a backlash among Jewish Democrats when he ran for DNC chair last year.
Ellison defended himself by portraying his ties to Farrakhan as limited to his attendance at Farrakhan’s 1995 Million Man March. But the 2013 meeting, which was documented by photographers in attendance, appears to undermine that claim. Farrakhan said in a 2016 video posted to Facebook that Ellison and Carson visited him at a Washington, D.C. hotel room the previous year.
Haim Saban, a major Democratic donor, has said that Ellison is “clearly an anti-Semite.”
Democratic Illinois Rep. Danny Davis defended Farrakhan and praised him as an “outstanding human being” in an interview with TheDC last week. Davis openly admitted to having a personal relationship with Farrakhan in the interview.
The Daily Caller previously requested comment from all three congressmen at the meeting but received no response. The DNC did not return a request for comment for this article.
The new emerging ties between prominent Democrats and Farrakhan follows a bombshell revelation that then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama took a smiling photo with Farrakhan at a 2005 Congressional Black Caucus meeting.
Both the 2005 meeting and the photo evidence of it remained secret until last month, when the photographer who documented it came forward. (RELATED: Bombshell Photo Emerges Of Obama Smiling With Black Nationalist Hate Group Leader Louis Farrakhan)