Cory Booker Backtracks on Louis Farrakhan: ‘I Will Not Sit Down With Him, Period’

‘I have heard Minister Farrakhan’s speeches for a lot of my life…’

(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Presidential hopeful Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ, backtracked on Sunday and said he would not sit down with anti-Semitic leader Louis Farrakhan one month after claiming he’d be open to the possibility.

“I will not sit down with Louis Farrakhan, period,” Booker told Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“And I reject anybody who preaches that kind of bigotry and hate toward other Americans,” he continued.

At a fundraiser in June, Booker claimed he was “very familiar” with Farrakhan’s “beliefs and values” and that he’d be willing to sit down with him.

“I have met—I live in Newark, so we have famous Mosque 25, we have Nation of Islam there,” Booker said, according to the Washington Examiner.

“As mayor I met with lots of folks talking to him. I have heard Minister Farrakhan’s speeches for a lot of my life, so I don’t feel like I need to do that, but I’m not one of these people that says I wouldn’t sit down with anybody to hear what they have to say,” Booker said.

Farrakhan has a long history of using anti-Semitic tropes, calling Jews “satanic,” comparing them to “termites,” and praising Hitler as a “great man.”

Booker said his Newark home was steeped in the Nation of Islam leader’s influence.

“I live on a neighborhood where I’m getting guys on the streets offering and selling his works,” he said. “I am very familiar with Minister Louis Farrakhan and his beliefs and his values.”

When pressed on why he said he understood Farrakhan’s values, Booker tried to claim that his comments were taken “out of context.” He failed to mention, however, what that context was.

Booker claimed he was willing to meet with Farrakhan just days after saying he was “disappointed” by front-runner Joe Biden’s past work with segregationist senators.

“Vice President Biden’s relationships with proud segregationists are not the model for how we make America a safer and more inclusive place for black people, and for everyone,” Booker said at the time.