For at least the 62nd time since 2009, the Rev. Al Sharpton has crossed the threshold of the White House to meet with President Barack Obama.
On Thursday, Sharpton was a guest of honor, along with 17 other civil rights leaders, for Obama "to provide an update on the administration’s priorities as described in the State of the Union," the White House stated, the Weekly Standard
"The meeting was also an opportunity to have a dialogue with the leaders about the issues facing their communities, including criminal justice, education, health care and economic development," the Standard said.
Sharpton was welcomed, despite owing an estimated $4.5 million in state and federal taxes, according to the National Legal and Policy Center
"Because he is a friend of many powerful people, including President Obama, the IRS and the State of New York have seemed willing to give him a free pass, especially given the high propensity of his admirers to riot," the NLPC said of Sharpton.
The White House invitation also came despite a lawsuit filed by the National Association of African-American Owned Media, which alleges that Comcast paid off Sharpton and his organization, the National Action Network (NAN), with $3.8 million in "donations" to keep quiet about its planned merger with Time Warner Cable. The planned merger, the group claims, shuts out black-owned media organizations, Fox News
Sharpton, a commentator with MSNBC, recently was criticized by Erica Snipes, the adult daughter of Eric Garner, who Sharpton adopted as a cause after Garner died in a confrontation with New York police during an arrest. Asked by Project Veritas if she thought Sharpton was a crook, Snipes rubbed her fingers together, and said, "He's (Sharpton) all about this," the NLPC reported. A hidden video captured the interview.
The Daily Mail reports
that Sharpton is losing his nightly spot as host of "Politics Nation."
Sharpton was joined at the White House meeting by Cornell Brooks of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Marc Morial of the National Urban League; Spencer Overton of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies; Catherine Pugh of the National Black State Legislators; John Boyd, President of the National Black Farmers Association; Ron Busby of the U.S. Black Chambers; Edwin Bass of COGIC Urban Initiatives; Bishop George Battle Jr., African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church; Rev. Traci Blackmon of the Christ The King United Church of Christ; Rev. Kip Banks Sr. of the Progressive National Baptist Church; Rev. Jesse Bottoms Jr. of the National Baptist Convention, USA; Bishop Charles Ellis of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World; Michael McBride of PICO’s Lifelines to Healing Campaign; Rev. Samuel Tolbert Jr. of the National Baptist Convention of America; Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church; and Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner of the Skinner Leadership Institute, the Weekly Standard reported.
In a recent interview with Politico
, asked if Obama was too close to Sharpton, Attorney General Eric Holder said, "I don’t think so. I think that, you know, the president has a number of people who he listens to, who he interacts with.
"You know, Rev. Sharpton is a person who has interacted with people within the administration, including myself. But we also hear from people who have, you know, fundamentally different views than Al Sharpton has."
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