Nation of Islam leader and prominent black activist Louis Farrakhan came close to endorsing Donald Trump for the United States presidency on Sunday, when he praised Trump for being “the only member who has stood in front of the Jewish community and said ‘I don’t want your money.’"
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“Not that I’m for Mr. Trump,” Farrakhan said during a sermon in Chicago on Sunday, “but I like what I’m looking at.”
The sermon was reported by the Anti-Defamation League, which monitors anti-Semitism.
"Any time a man can say to those who control the politics of America, ‘I don’t want your money,’ that means you can’t control me. And they can’t afford to give up control of the presidents of the United States,” said Farrakhan, who has blamed Jews for the 9/11 attacks.
Farrakhan, who described himself as a fan of Trump, also called Jews the “Synagogue of Satan” during his sermon.
Farrakhan's statement, coming after the endorsement of Trump by white nationalist and former Klu Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, means the billionaire presidential candidate has now won support from both extremes of the political spectrum.
The candidate himself has made a number of controversial statements about Jews during his campaign. “You’re not going to support me, even though I’ll be the best guy for Israel,” he told prominent Jewish Republicans in December last year.
“I’m a negotiator like you folks,” Trump added, falling back to the stereotype that Jews are shrewd at business. “Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals? Probably more than any room I’ve ever spoken.”
The ADL commented that "despite Farrakhan’s decades-long history of racism and anti-Semitism, he continues to receive support from celebrities and elected officials.
"Farrakhan was also provided with a platform to promote anti-Semitism in Iran earlier this month as a special guest at multiple high-level events, meeting with current and former Iranian government officials."