DNC Chair Tom Perez Refuses to Condemn Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar for Antisemitism

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Tom Perez refused to comment on charges of antisemitism against Democratic members of Congress during an appearance on Fox News’ Special Report on Tuesday afternoon, after questions by host Bret Baier.

Baier asked Perez about recent controversies surrounding antisemitic comments by first-term Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), as well as the association of the anti-Trump Women’s March with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has a long history of racist and antisemitic rhetoric.

Perez did not comment on Tlaib and Omar, as the transcript — via NewsBusters — shows:

BRET BAIER: I want to ask you two tougher questions about some threads of, what critics call anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party. Representative from Michigan, Rashida Tlaib is coming under criticism for her interactions, members of a “Facebook group ‘Palestinian American Congress’ where members demonize Jews.” A long article about that with specifics in The Daily Caller. You recently pulled the DNC out of a Women’s March. Was it because of concerns about anti-Semitism?

TOM PEREZ: Well, we were – We had a host of concerns, and we wanted to make sure that we were clear in our values. And the Democratic Party, our platform has been very clear about Israel, it’s been very clear about dignity for both Israel and the Palestinian people. A two-state solution is the way to go. A two-state solution negotiated directly by the parties, that is what we have to do. And frankly, I think this administration, through their wedge actions, their divide and conquer actions, has made that reality – or that possibility of a two two-state solution that much more remote.

Perez acknowledged that the DNC had withdrawn from the Women’s March, but did not address antisemitism specifically, saying instead that Democrats preferred a “two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and claimed that Trump had made that solution more difficult.

Asked again about antisemitism — “Is there a concern in your party about this threat?” — Perez dodged the question, pivoting to a false claim that President Donald Trump would not condemn riots in Charlottesville in 2017:

Other Democratic leaders, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and House Democratic Conference Chair Hakeen Jeffries (D-NY), denied Tuesday that Reps. Tlaib and Omar were antisemitic.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.