Fox News host Sean Hannity launched a new attack on Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison on Thursday, two days after a heated interview ended with Hannity cutting the Minnesota congressman off.
“We decided to take a look at the man who called me immoral,” said Hannity, “and it didn’t take long to prove his hypocrisy, as his past reveals a host of radical connections, primarily to Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.”
Hannity stated that Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, was tied to Farrakhan and the late militant leader Khalid Muhammad when he was a law student at the University of Minnesota in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
“The reality of it is the congressman not only associated with these radicals, but he spent years spewing their hateful rhetoric,” Hannity continued.
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“What is the difference? I mean, do we have somebody then in Congress that is the equivalent of one side of what the Klan is? Because I view the rabid ranting of Khalid Mohammad as frightening in terms of racism, anti-Semitism.”
In an appearance on Hannity’s program on Tuesday, Ellison called the host “the worst excuse for a journalist I’ve ever seen” after Hannity had criticized Barack Obama over the upcoming sequester, calling him “President Panic.”
Hannity ended his six-minute interview with Ellison by saying, “Congressman, you are a total waste of time. I’m moving on because our audience deserves better.”
The Fox anchor said on Thursday that he had reached out to Ellison to ask about his past association with Farrakhan and Muhammad, and Ellison had in response issued a statement once again criticizing Hannity.
“[Friday], a set of devastating cuts will hit every American, costing 750,000 jobs over the course of the year if Congress doesn’t act,” Ellison said in the statement. “The seriousness of these cuts was the subject and context of my spirited exchange with Sean Hannity on Tuesday night.
“Americans deserve journalists who provide responsible, objective reporting. Instead, Sean Hannity is bringing up my religion and making personal attacks. This is sad. Can we get back to what’s best for the American people now?”
Ellison’s connections to Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam were first revealed during his 2006 congressional campaign, when he insisted that he was never a member of the group but acknowledged that he helped organize the Minnesota contingent to Farrakhan’s Million Man March in 1995 in Washington, D.C.
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