Three Democratic congressmen attended a private dinner hosted by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in 2013, a new report reveals.
Reps. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Andre Carson of Indiana and Gregory Meeks of New York attended the private dinner, along with Louis Farrakhan, a notorious anti-Semite who leads the black supremacist group Nation of Islam.
Iran is the number one state sponsor of terrorism, according to the United States government, which has listed the Islamic Republic as a state sponsor of terror since 1984. Rouhani was in New York for a United Nations meeting and held the dinner party just hours after speaking to the UN General Assembly.
Final Call, a Nation of Islam publication, noted the three Democrats’ attendance at the time and included photos of Ellison and Meeks at the dinner party. But aside from the Final Call article, the three Democrats’ presence at the dinner remained secret until a Wall Street Journal column revealed it on Friday. None of the three congressmen’s offices responded to The Daily Caller’s request for comment for this article.
Ellison, Meeks and Carson’s attendance at the 2013 dinner is just the latest tie between Democratic members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and Farrakhan.
One CBC member, Illinois Rep. Danny Davis, defended Farrakhan and praised him as an “outstanding human being” in an interview with TheDC last week. Davis openly admitted to having a personal relationship with Farrakhan in the interview.
Ellison, who is also vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), has previously struggled to put distance between himself and Farrakhan.
Ellison attended Farrakhan’s Million Man March in 1995 and once publicly defended Farrakhan — who has repeatedly called Jews “Satanic” — against charges of anti-semitism.
After his ties to Farrakhan hindered his campaign for DNC chair last year, Ellison wrote an an op-ed for The Washington Post in which he portrayed his ties to Farrakhan as limited to the 1995 march. Farrakhan disputed that characterization in a video posted to Facebook and said that Ellison and Carson visited him in 2015.
The CBC held a secret meeting with Farrakhan in 2005, where then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama took a smiling picture with the hate group leader. The existence of both the meeting and Obama’s photo with Farrakhan remained secret until last month. A Final Call photographer said he suppressed the photo for 13 years at the CBC’s request, in order to protect Obama’s political career.
Twenty-one current members of the CBC were part of the caucus at the time of the 2005 meeting. None of them were willing to denounce Farrakhan when asked by TheDC.
Farrakhan’s organization, the Nation of Islam, is so extreme that even the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center has recognized it as a hate group for its “theology of innate black superiority over whites and the deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-gay rhetoric of its leaders.”