DNC deputy chair responds to criticism over 2013 meeting
Rep. Keith Ellison, deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, is defending a 2013 meeting with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and explaining that he did not know religious leader Louis Farrakhan would be in attendance.
Why it matters: Ellison came under recent fire by conservative media following a WSJ report that he had dinner with religious leader Louis Farrakhan and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani in 2013.
The back story: Ellison penned several op-eds in the student newspaper while in law school, defending Farrakhan against claims of racism and anti-semitism. He later attempted to distance himself from both Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, once in 2006 during his House campaign and again in 2016 while running for DNC chair.
In a statement to Axios, Ellison wrote: