Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez struggled to defend the decision not to call for the resignation of deputy chair Keith Ellison, who’s up against serious allegations of domestic abuse.
Perez was asked by CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who cited the #MeToo movement, why Ellison is still vice chair of the party.
“What I say is that we should always take those complaints seriously and we do,” he replied. “And that’s why an investigation was conducted, that’s why Congressman Ellison asked for a House Ethics investigation and Democrats have never hesitated to take action, unlike Republicans.”
The Minnesota Democratic Party conducted its own investigation and declared that they “were unable to substantiate the claim.”
In what proved to be a pleasant surprise, Tapper did not let Perez off the hook so easily.
“Wait a second, Democrats have never hesitated to take action? Do you mean in the last year, or do you mean historically?” the CNN anchor asked. “Because historically, I could go through a list of people.”
Perez cited Al Frankin, the Democratic senator from Minnesota who resigned from the U.S. Senate in December 2017 after being accused of groping women and other sexually inappropriate behavior.
“Democrats didn’t hesitate to do something even it was difficult, because it was the right thing to do,” he claimed.
Equally surprising, Tapper brought up Ted Kennedy and President Bill Clinton.
“Jake, I’ve been chair of the Democratic National Committee for 18 months,” he said in response.
Ellison is running for attorney general in Minnesota.
Tapper asked Perez if he thought Ellison’s accuser was “lying,” and the DNC chair danced around the question.
“I think Keith Ellison’s ex-girlfriend deserves to be heard and deserves to be treated with dignity and deserves to have a fair and full investigation,” Perez said. “And that is exactly what has been done.”
This from the party that claims to be looking out for women.
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