Susan Rice Meets With Activist Lawyer Who Stoked Online Mob Against Pregnant Nurse

Benjamin Crump falsely accused Sarah Comrie of stealing a bike from black teenagers

Susan Rice / Getty Images
May 22, 2023

White House adviser Susan Rice met Friday with race activist Benjamin Crump, days after he stoked an online mob against a pregnant, white, New York City nurse who was falsely accused of stealing a bike from black teenagers.

Rice, the director of the White House domestic policy council, met with Crump to discuss the killing of one of his clients while on vacation in Mexico last October. Crump wants the White House to pressure Mexican officials to extradite suspects implicated in the case, he told reporter April Ryan.

Rice hosted Crump at the White House hours after his viral claims against nurse Sarah Comrie were debunked. On May 15, Crump published a video of an argument between Comrie and a group of black teenagers over payment for a rental bike in New York City. Crump falsely accused Comrie of stealing the bike and alleged it was another case of a "white woman" putting young black men in danger.

"A white woman was caught on camera attempting to STEAL a Citi Bike from a young Black man in NYC," he wrote on May 15. "She grossly tried to weaponize her tears to paint this man as a threat. This is EXACTLY the type of behavior that has endangered so many Black men in the past!"

CBS credited Crump with fueling the outrage against Comrie, who is six months pregnant. She was put on leave from her nursing job and labeled "Citi Bike Karen," a derogatory term for white women.

Comrie was vindicated on May 19, when her lawyer released a receipt showing she purchased the bike. The lawyer criticized Crump for fueling the viral mob against Comrie, who has gone into hiding.

"It's appalling that, you know, like, race, you know, is somehow, like, imputed as that being the issue here," lawyer Justin Marino said.

Crump deleted his tweet at some point on May 19, according to Internet archives.

Crump and Rice are no strangers to controversy. Rice has faced criticism during her latest tenure for failing to handle a historic surge in illegal immigrants at the southern border. During the Obama administration, Rice falsely claimed in a series of interviews that a video about the Prophet Muhammad had stoked attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2021.

Crump has a history of making overblown claims in racially tinged cases. He accused Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson of executing black teenager Michael Brown, setting off riots in the St. Louis suburb. Evidence later showed that Brown attacked Wilson in his police cruiser and that he was shot while moving towards Wilson.

Crump and the White House did not respond to requests for comment.