Yesterday, Trump White House adviser Omarosa Manigault was interviewed on Chicago talk radio station WVON. Manigault, a former reality show contestant on Trump’s The Apprentice, now serves as director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison, making her one of the president’s point people on public outreach. Remarkably, towards the close of the conversation, she took the opportunity to issue a personal invitation to a notorious anti-Semite.
Responding to a question from her hosts, Manigault said, “I think any of your audience would know that I’ve never shied away from having an open, and I believe a good, relationship with Louis Farrakhan, and so I would look forward to receiving that invitation and sitting down with him.”
Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, is characterized by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “an anti-Semite who routinely accuses Jews of manipulating the U.S. government and controlling the levers of world power.” The Anti-Defamation League keeps a running dossier of all of Farrakhan’s hateful statements, which include blaming Jews for 9/11 and the slave trade. (In response, Farrakhan has personally threatened both organizations.)
Lowlights of Farrakhan’s oeuvre include utterances like this from 1996: “You are wicked deceivers of the American people. You have sucked their blood. You are not real Jews, those of you that are not real Jews. You are the synagogue of Satan, and you have wrapped your tentacles around the U.S. government, and you are deceiving and sending this nation to hell.”
The ADL quickly responded to Manigault’s invitation. “Louis Farrakhan should not be made to feel welcome by anyone in the White House,” ADL director Jonathan Greenblatt said. “Such an overture would only serve to legitimize his long record of conspiratorial and hateful views toward Jews. We hope that the administration will make it clear that Farrakhan and his anti-Semitic organization will find no supporters in the White House.”
During the race for chair of the Democratic National Committee, Congressman Keith Ellison came under fire for his own past defense of Farrakhan and involvement in Nation of Islam, both of which he had previously disavowed. Whether Manigault will follow suit and rescind her invitation to Farrakhan, and thus her legitimization of him as a public figure, remains to be seen.