Valerie Jarrett appeared on The View on Friday and gave a surprising defense of a Women’s March organizer over her ties noted anti-semite and racist Louis Farrakhan.
The conversation turned on national co-chair of the Women’s March Tamika Mallory and her embrace of the radical leader Farrakhan.
“So, is this guilt by association we’re talking about here, or should she basically be taken out of the leadership position? What do you think?” Behar asked.
“It’s not just that she attended. She posted a photo calling Farrakhan G.O.A.T. Which means greatest of all time. There’s the photo right there,” noted Meghan McCain.
“From two years ago,” Paula Faris added.
“Two years ago, yeah,” McCain said. “It piggybacks on the conversation we were having yesterday about the inclusivity or exclusivity of the Women’s March. BuzzFeed said it best, the cohesiveness has been tried before. It comes under fire from women of color, anti-abortion activists, NRA and anti-Muslim forces. There’s a reason why we only had two members of our table yesterday who wanted to call themselves feminists.”
“Let me read one thing from her point of view,” Behar said. “She credits the Nation of Islam for supporting her after her son’s father was murdered 17 years ago which she calls the most difficult period of my life. So she has a personal relationship with —”
“Not necessarily condemned —” Faris said.
“I want to get this,” McCain said. “Remember when we had a conversation about how CPAC was ‘Nazi-friendly’? Louis Farrakhan said Hitler was a very great man. This is black and white. It’s simple, you think Hitler is a great man, don’t associate with that person. There should be no normalizing of this one way or the other.”
“I don’t necessarily think — I think she needs to call out Farrakhan, just not necessarily the Nation of Islam,” Faris said. “Same thing with Christians, you’re not necessarily calling out the religion but you’re calling out an individual that maybe has been too extreme. Yes, he said that Hitler was a great man in this speech in February. He also said, quote, ‘powerful Jews are my enemy.’ He said ‘the Jewish people were behind the 9/11 attacks.”
“He’s been notorious,” Behar said.
“You absolutely need to disassociate yourself,” Faris added.
Then Valerie Jarrett spoke up.
“Part of learning to be a leader effectively is that you have to use your voice and you have to be very clear,” Jarrett said. “Now, you work with people all the time with whom you disagree. Goodness knows, I met with the Koch brothers when we were working on criminal justice or Rupert Murdoch when we were working on immigration reform. But you have to — if you want to lead an inclusive movement you have to be clear about hate, and we have to be against it every single —”
“So does that mean that you do not meet with these people?” Faris asked.
“No,” Jarrett replied. “As I said, if you’re trying to get things done, meeting with somebody is one thing, but associating yourself with hate, with painful rhetoric is very, very different.”
“So should she say I do not agree with this hateful rhetoric?” Behar asked.
“She should speak and she should have earlier,” Jarrett said. “She’s learning to be a leader. She’s young. She’s stepping into this and it doesn’t take away from the movement.”
“The Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch are in no way the same thing,” McCain said. “There’s a very big difference between meeting with someone who ideologically has a different opinion and perspective and someone who thinks that Hitler was a very great man.”
“During the break, Meghan, I wanted to make the point that Tamika was saying two things,” Jarrett said. “One, she meets with all kinds of people. That’s why I brought up the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch. That’s different than associating yourself with their message. The reason why I think we were saying she has to come out and be very clear about hate and disavow it is that’s not acceptable. I wasn’t making a moral equivalence between them.”
“Okay, we got that,” Behar added.
Meghan McCain then proceeded to dismantle Jarrett’s argument.
“I think it’s dangerous to say the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch are in any way the same as Rupert Murdoch,” McCain said.
“There’s a difference between meeting with someone who was a hate leader — like I wouldn’t meet with David Duke,” she continued. “There are people who I would not meet with, period. He is in the same vein, to me, as David Duke. If you are so hateful that you think Hitler was a great man, I don’t think you deserve a platform.”
Jarrett joined fellow former Obama administration adviser Susan Rice in making the media rounds on Friday.
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