March 13, 2018

Juan Williams Plays ‘But Trump!’ Three Times in Excusing CBC Pols’ Embrace of Farrakhan

On the Friday overnight edition of Fox News @Night, Juan Williams disingenuously made three attempts to create a false equivalence between Congressional Black Caucus leaders’ political and physical embraces of National of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and Donald Trump’s non-existent relationship with the KKK. Host Shannon Bream and the Daily Caller’s Vince Coglianese weren’t having any of it, but Williams wouldn’t let go.

Bream led off the segment by quoting an observation made by the leader of the Republican Jewish Coalition, which has called for the resignations of seven Congresspersons who have associated with Farrakhan. The group’s Matthew Brooks noted that for decades there has been little or no pushback by leftist or even centrist Democrats against Farrakhan while Republican and conservatives have been dishonestly smeared as white nationalists or neo-Nazis without basis.

This led Bream to ask Williams if Democrats have “said enough” to denounce Farrakhan.

Williams first tried to claim that the controversy was irrelevant, and made his first “But Trump!” argument. Coglianese politely but firmly jumped all over Williams’ nonsense:

Partial transcript:


JUAN WILLIAMS: It’s funny to me – I don’t think Louis Farrakhan’s involved with politics – I’m not even sure he’s a Democrat.

SHANNON BREAM: But there are a lot of pictures at events with him with a lot of these different folks who are [Democratic] lawmakers –

WILLIAMS: No, No, No. These people are in the – Farrakhan’s in Chicago, so if someone like Danny Davis – even Obama – that picture comes from a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus, and there comes Farrakhan. But Farrakhan and the history of the Black Muslims is, they are averse to American politics. They think all of America is a wasteland, they are very condemning. And he has always been anti-Semitic. He has always been anti-White


WILLIAMS: To me, this is about what people call “what-about-ism” or, you know, like one side on this case people who are concerned about President Trump’s relationship to the alt-right, to people like David Duke and Richard Spencer are now saying “Well, hey, you guys, what about Louis Farrakhan over there.”

VINCE COGLIANESE: Except this is not a direct comparison in any way – because the President of the United States, while David Duke said that he liked Donald Trump, that did not mean that he had a warm embrace of David Duke. What you have here is Democrats – a bunch of them – who have had literal warm embraces of Louis Farrakhan. These aren’t just local politicians in Illinois that are doing this, this is Keith Ellison, this is Maxine Waters, these are leaders in the Democratic Party who have embraced him for many years –

WILLIAMS: I don’t know that they’ve embraced him –

COGLIANESE: Quite literally – there’s videos of them hugging him.

A short time later, Coglianese perfectly explained why the controversy has finally boiled over: The press has given CBC leaders a pass for being two-faced for so long that they thought they had a lifetime pass to get away with it. Williams again played the “But Trump!” card:

Partial transcript:


COGLIANESE: This should be a layup. And the reason it is not a layup and the reason why these Democrats are sort of confused on how to approach this is because they’ve gotten away for so many years with a press that’s credulously gone along with the notion that it’s possible for them to have relationships with Louis Farrakhan and for this to be totally fine. The press has whistled past the anti-Semite for many years.


WILLIAMS: … The difference is he is not president of the United States and saying as people are marching with tiki torches and intimidating people in the Jewish synagogue with guns, he’s not saying “Oh, I see good people on both sides.” We know what Louis Farrakhan is. He is not part of the American political system.

Lord have mercy. If Farrakhan “is not part of the political system,” why have all of these black political leaders met with him?

Also, a reminder: Just after the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner reminded Forbes:

Trump has disavowed their support 25 times. He’s renounced hatred, he’s renounced bigotry, and he’s renounced racism. I don’t know if he could ever denounce them enough for some people.” He then paraphrases a quote he attributes to Ronald Reagan: “Just because they support me doesn’t mean that I support them.”

Finally, the center-right is playing by Saul Alinsky’s rules, particularly: “Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.” The seven CBC members involved don’t appreciate the turnabout.

Bream then wondered why the CBC members won’t just come out and condemn Farrakhan. Williams’ answer, though he certainly didn’t frame it this way, was that they don’t have the political courage:


WILLIAMS: First of all, you can’t say that. Remember, I think you just said it at the start of this. In their districts, if they’re mostly Black districts, I don’t think that’s a winner.

BREAM: If he’s saying such horrible, offensive things, does it matter, if it counts for votes for you?

WILLIAMS: But I think if you want to separate yourself from someone who’s dealing with the poorest of Black America then I think that lots of Black Americans are like, well, you’re paying attention to the wrong aspect.

I guess Williams would have been fine with Al Capone, because he ran a soup kitchen.

In the final snip, readers will see Coglianese point out that CBC members’ reluctance to condemn Farrakhan is sending a mixed message about the genuineness of their interest in racial harmony. Williams again argued that “You can’t do that in these congressional districts,” and played “But Trump!” for the third time:


(full snip)

COGLIANESE: Members of Congress who have close relationships with him (Farrakhan) and don’t want to create distance, and are now sending I think a very clear message — or an unclear message — on where they stand on racial politics.

WILLIAMS: Well let’s go back a second. I think that they are representing their constituents in their districts, some of whom have a relationship with Farrakhan. And that’s why, as Shannon said, they’re on both sides of this.

They should be a clear denunciation, but he’s not President Obam-, er, President Trump.

Williams’ false equivalence and indefensible excuse-making for people who routinely betray Martin Luther King’s dream could hardly be more obvious.

(h/t American Thinker)

Cross-posted, with possible revisions, at


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