Keith Ellison Met with the Iranian President and Louis Farrakhan. Where’s the Scandal?

February 15, 2018 | Sohrab Ahmari
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The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Keith Ellison—a prominent Minnesota congressman and now also the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC)—attended a dinner in 2013 hosted by Hassan Rouhani, who had recently become Iran’s president. Also in attendance were the Nation of Islam’s leader Louis Farrakhan and two other congressmen. Sohrab Ahmari comments:

[The meeting] should be a major political scandal. It involves an anti-American government, a prominent member of Congress, and a far-right group that traffics in anti-Semitism, homophobia, and conspiracy theories. . . . Nearly a week later, [however], the prestige press is still giving the Journal exposé the chirping-crickets treatment. . . .

The episode raises serious questions about Ellison’s judgment and his real ideological convictions. Ellison has spent much of his political career running away from Farrakhan [and the Nation of Islam]. His ties to the group almost derailed his first congressional run, in 2006. After it emerged that he had worked with the Nation of Islam for at least eighteen months in the 1990s, Ellison wrote a letter to the Jewish community distancing himself from Farrakhan and denouncing his “anti-Semitic statements and actions.” Ellison reiterated his opposition to the group’s “anti-Semitism” and “homophobia” in 2016 when he contested the DNC leadership.

But revulsion at his former associates in the Nation of Islam didn’t stop Ellison from breaking bread with Farrakhan in 2013—bread that was provided by the Tehran regime. So which is the real Ellison: the one who drafts earnest letters of apology to Jewish groups? Or the one who, as recently as 2013, saw fit to dine with Farrakhan under Iranian auspices?

The Ellison-Farrakhan-Rouhani shindig is also a reminder that progressive Democrats had no compunction about hobnobbing with representatives of an anti-American terror state.

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