Testy Interview: CNN’s Tapper Challenges Ellison over His Ties with Farrakhan

Testy Interview: CNN’s Tapper Challenges Ellison over His Ties with Farrakhan June 26, 2018

CNN anchor Jake Tapper has consistently called out Democrats who refuse to condemn the evil, anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.  He recently had an interview with Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), which was primarily about President Donald Trump’s “travel ban.”  The Supreme Court upheld his policy on Tuesday as being Constitutional.

However, Tapper used the interview as a moment to bring up Ellison’s ties to Farrakhan.  It didn’t go well.  Tapper pointed out that The Washington Post’s fact checker was lying when he claimed no relations with Farrakhan. The Hill has the details about what happened next.

“Jake, they were wrong,” Ellison said. “It is untrue, Jake, I’m sorry. And I’m disappointed that that is why you called me on your show today.” 

The tense exchanges began after Tapper said that Ellison “used to follow” Farrakhan.

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 during the interview on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.” 

“I would disagree with that,” Ellison interrupted. 

“Well, you’re decrying bigotry. Louis Farrakhan is a pretty clear bigot,” Tapper said.

Ellison said he agreed that Farrakhan was a bigot before saying that he didn’t support him.

Wow.  Way to go, CNN, on calling out this guy.  Here’s more:

I don’t have any support for what the individual you just mentioned stands for nor do I agree with Trump’s bigotry either,” he 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.'”

Tapper then interjected that Ellison was a “follower of Farrakhan.”

“No, I wasn’t. Jake, I’m sorry, that’s not true,” Ellison responded.

Ellison twice during the discussion criticized Tapper’s questions for suggesting a false equivalency between Trump’s support for the travel ban and his own words or actions, saying “if anyone concerned 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’s not what your purpose is, Jake, because you’ve stood for an equal society, but if you’re going to try to put me on the spot and try to explain myself, I didn’t pass a Muslim ban,” he said.

What’s weird about the exchange is that Ellison denied taking part of a meeting that included Farrakhan, even though Farrakhan had mentioned his attendance in 2016.  Also, Ellison defended Farrakhan when he was in school, saying that Farrakhan wasn’t an anti-Semite.  (He changed his tune when he began running for office.)

In spite of Ellison’s inability to take responsibility for his past support of Farrakhan, it was nice to see CNN taking this seriously.

Image Credit: Screen Cap

Hat Tip: The Hill

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