Jake Tapper set off Rep. Keith Ellison in a heated exchange on the air when the CNN anchor pressed him about his ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
The Minnesota Democrat had been slamming the Supreme Court decision to uphold President Trump’s travel ban when Tapper brought up the issue on Tuesday.
“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 said on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”
“I would disagree with that,” Ellison, the Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee, interrupted.
Keith Ellison on @jaketapper right now is must-see TV.
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) June 26, 2018
“Well, you’re decrying bigotry. Louis Farrakhan is a pretty clear bigot,” Tapper said.
“Right. And I agree that is true. And I think I made myself very clear. But back to the false equivalency. I don’t have any support for what the individual you just mentioned stands for nor do I agree with Trump’s bigotry either,” Ellison said. “But then again, any time somebody tries to say that something is unfair and bigoted, if you’re going to say, ‘Well, one time you sort of said something or somebody said you said something’ and then – ”
“You are a follower of —” Tapper interjected before Ellison shot back, “No I wasn’t —.”
“Jake, I’m sorry. That is not true, Jake. I want to say if anyone who raises concerns about bigotry then is put in a position to have to defend themselves, then we never get to talk about bigotry and I hope that is not what your purpose is, Jake,” Ellison said, complaining about being put on the spot.
— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) June 26, 2018
The two continued to battle as Tapper noted that The Washington Post’s fact checker had given Ellison four Pinocchios for claiming he had no connection with Farrakhan. He cited Farrakhan’s comments in 2016 saying he had met with Ellison in a hotel suite in Washington.
“That is a false — that did not happen,” Ellison responded. “I could tell you I was in no such meeting. I was in no such meeting. I’ve made that clear.”
Tapper defended his question, saying “you were talking about bigotry in your view of Trump and the view of the travel ban and I thought it was worth asking about a bigot with whom you used to associate.”
Ellison repeatedly slammed the CNN anchor’s line of questions telling Tapper he was “disappointed that is why you called me on your show today.”
“You are trying to put me on the spot and it is not fair,” he said.
Ellison can complain all he wants, but can’t seem t downplay the relationship with anti-Semitic and bigoted Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.
— Erielle Davidson (@politicalelle) June 26, 2018
Good for Tapper. It’s astonishing and revealing that it took until now for someone to really publicly confront Ellison on this topic.
— (((AG))) (@AG_Conservative) June 26, 2018
Keith Ellison just melted down on @jaketapper‘s show when pressed about his relationship with Louis Farrakhan. He claims its false that they had any relationship. Here they are together a few years ago: https://t.co/9EcLQp86OI pic.twitter.com/NzvzjbOTCI
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) June 26, 2018
.@keithellison is the best thing that happened to the Republican Party in a long time.
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) June 26, 2018
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