Democrat Illinois Rep. Danny Davis confirmed in an interview Sunday that he has a personal relationship with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a notorious anti-Semite, and said he isn’t bothered by Farrakhan’s position on “the Jewish question.”
Farrakhan has repeatedly denounced Jews as “satanic,” praised Hitler as a “very great man” and has said that white people “deserve to die.”
Davis previously told The Daily Caller that he considers Farrakhan to be an “outstanding human being” and said he regularly meets with Farrakhan. Davis’s office falsely told the Anti-Defamation League that the congressman had been misquoted.
The congressman wasn’t sure why the ADL wrote that he had been misquoted in his praise for the anti-Semite, and said he wasn’t sure if someone from his office had told the ADL that.
“I think that was what they wanted to write. Nah, I don’t have no problems with Farrakhan, I don’t spend a whole lot of my time dealing with those kind of things,” Davis told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Sunday.
The ADL did not immediately return a request for comment.
“I’m a pretty global individual. So I know Farrakhan, I know the Middle East question, I know the Jews and Farrakhan — I know all that, but that’s not what I spend all my time focused on,” Davis continued, breaking into a laugh.
“I know Farrakhan, been knowing him for years and years and years and years and years, and every once in a while some writer or somebody will I guess try to think of something to say about Farrakhan, but nah, my world is so much bigger than any of that. I don’t have time for that. I deal with it, you know, when it comes but nah, that’s not a real part of my focus.”
“That’s just one segment of what goes on in our world. The world is so much bigger than Farrakhan and the Jewish question and his position on that and so forth. For those heavy into it, that’s their thing, but it ain’t my thing,” he said
Davis also said that he knows Farrakhan better than Democrat Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, a former Nation of Islam member who repeatedly attended meetings with Farrakhan during his time in Congress.
“I don’t know that Keith knows Farrakhan as well as I do — in fact, I know he doesn’t,” Davis said.
“I don’t think that Keith is no person who is super engaged with Farrakhan, he just happens to be a movement,” he added. “Just like many of the folks who are Christians, they’re not super engaged with Jesus, but they say they Christians. Those are all things that come and go, and I take them in stride and keep on stepping. Before I know it, Farrakhan will be dead, Keith will be dead, I’ll be dead and the issues will still be going on.”
Davis’s comments are consistent with what he previously told TheDC: he has a personal relationship with Farrakhan and isn’t bothered by his anti-Semitism.
“I personally know (Farrakhan), I’ve been to his home, done meetings, participated in events with him,” Davis told TheDC in February.
“I don’t regard Louis Farrakhan as an aberration or anything, I regard him as an outstanding human being who commands a following of individuals who are learned and articulate and he plays a big role in the lives of thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of people.”
When TheDC asked Davis about Farrakhan’s history of anti-Semitic comments, the congressman was dismissive and said that many people in politics have a history of inflammatory comments.
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A version of this article previously appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.
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