Conservative pundit Siraj Hashmi was called out after trying to deflect questions about ousted White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s racism by switching the subject to Democrats’ affiliation with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
During a Sunday panel discussion, CNN host Victor Blackwell brought up Bannon’s recent remarks at an event in France, during which he encouraged a crowd of far-right politicians to wear accusations of racism and anti-Semitism “like a badge of honor.”
“He has been basically expelled from the White House,” Hashmi said of the former White House aide. “…Unless he starts his own media company, which he has talked about doing and even buying Newsweek — right now, his relevancy is next to none.”
Hashmi then switched focus to reports that a prominent member of the Women’s March on Washington attended a speech by Minister Farrakhan, who’s been accused of making anti-Semitic remarks in the past. Several Democrats have also been asked to resign over their ties to the Islamic leader.
“There’s extremism on both sides of the aisle,” Hashmi charged. “And just in the last week, we have seen co-organizers of the women’s march as well as several Democrats and their connections to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and his racist anti-Semitic views.”
Blackwell welcomed a discussion on the matter but argued that no president has ever invited Farrakhan to serve in the White House as a chief strategist.
“Barack Obama was pictured with him in 2005,” Hashmi interjected.
“But Louis Farrakhan never had an office in the West Wing,” Blackwell replied.
See more of their discussion above.