Democratic Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison struggled to answer for his past support of anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan during a CNN interview Tuesday.
Ellison originally appeared on “The Lead” with anchor Jake Tapper to talk about the Supreme Court upholding President Donald Trump’s travel ban, but the interview quickly went off the rails when Ellison said the ruling was “bigoted.”
“You’ve been decrying President Trump’s bigotry, obviously you used to follow somebody who continually expressed sexist anti-LGBTQ and anti-Semitic bigotry, Louis Farrakhan,” Tapper asserted.
Ellison used to work for the Nation of Islam and even attended multiple meetings with Farrakhan while serving in Congress, despite the fact that Farrakhan is an open anti-Semite. RELATED: Keith Ellison Attended Multiple Meetings With Farrakhan While In Congress)
Ellison said that he agreed that Farrakhan is a bigot but called it a “false equivalency” to bring up his past support of Farrakhan in relation to Trump.
“If anyone who raises concerns of bigotry then is put in a position of having to defend themselves then we never get to talk about bigotry,” Ellison asserted. “But if you’re going to try to put me on the spot and explain myself, I didn’t pass a Muslim ban!”
“Now you’re trying to put me on the spot — it’s not fair,” Ellison doubled down.
Tapper didn’t let off the gas pedal, asking specifically about Farrakhan’s claims that he and Ellison met in a hotel in 2016. (RELATED: WaPo Gives Ellison ‘Four Pinocchios’ For Lying About Farrakhan Relationship)
“That did not happen,” Ellison claimed. “I was in no such meeting. I’ve made that clear — you know that, Jake.”
“Okay, I wanted to get you on the record about it,” Tapper replied. “Congressman, it was just a question. You were talking quite a bit about the bigotry, in your view, of President Trump … I thought it was worth asking about somebody, a bigot, with whom you used to associate.”