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Dem. Rep. flip-flops on Farrakhan after backlash — but previously said he was ‘outstanding human being’

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Peter Hasson, DCNF

Democratic Illinois Rep. Danny Davis appears to have changed his position on Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a notorious anti-Semite, after facing a public backlash for praising him.

Davis previously called Farrakhan an “outstanding human being” and said he wasn’t bothered by Farrakhan’s position on the “Jewish question” in a pair of interviews with this reporter. Davis’s office contradicted his previous statements on Farrakhan in a statement released to Jewish website Forward on Thursday evening.

“Let me be clear: I reject, condemn and oppose Minister Farrakhan’s views and remarks regarding the Jewish people and the Jewish religion,” the statement quoted Davis as saying. “Those who have attempted to defame me either do not know me or my lifetime record or are deceitfully and deceptively attempting to use this as an opportunity to foment division and hatred between the African American and Jewish communities.”Davis did not immediately return a phone call and voicemail seeking comment. Just last month, he told The Daily Caller he has a personal relationship with Farrakhan and called him an “outstanding human being.”

(Barry Brecheisen/Getty Images for (RED))

“I personally know [Farrakhan], I’ve been to his home, done meetings, participated in events with him,” Davis said.

“I don’t regard Louis Farrakhan as an aberration or anything, I regard him as an outstanding human being who commands a following of individuals who are learned and articulate and he plays a big role in the lives of thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of people,” the congressman said. He added that “it wouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary” for him to meet with Farrakhan.

Davis confirmed his personal relationship in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation on Sunday.

“I don’t have no problems with Farrakhan, I don’t spend a whole lot of my time dealing with those kind of things,” Davis told TheDCNF. “I’m a pretty global individual. So I know Farrakhan, I know the Middle East question, I know the Jews and Farrakhan — I know all that, but that’s not what I spend all my time focused on,” he continued, breaking into a laugh.

“I know Farrakhan, been knowing him for years and years and years and years and years, and every once in a while some writer or somebody will I guess try to think of something to say about Farrakhan, but nah, my world is so much bigger than any of that. I don’t have time for that. I deal with it, you know, when it comes but nah, that’s not a real part of my focus,” Davis said at that time.

“That’s just one segment of what goes on in our world. The world is so much bigger than Farrakhan and the Jewish question and his position on that and so forth. For those heavy into it, that’s their thing, but it ain’t my thing.”

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

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