McCain Blasts Jarrett for Comparing Meeting With Louis Farrakhan to Meeting the Koch Brothers

Jarrett says she wasn't making moral equivalence between them

March 9, 2018

Meghan McCain grew heated when she suggested Valerie Jarrett, a former senior advisor to President Barack Obama, had compared meeting with the Koch Brothers to meeting with Louis Farrakhan during an appearance on ABC's "The View" on Friday.

The controversial comment arose while Jarrett, McCain, and Joy Behar discussed the co-chairwoman of the Women's March, Tamika Mallory, who allegedly attended a controversial anti-Semitic address by Farrakhan, the radical leader of the Nation of Islam.

Mallory first drew rebuke from the media, including CNN'S Jake Tapper, for attending the Nation of Islam's annual Saviours' Day address. During the address, Farrakhan lambasted "the satanic Jew" and claimed that when individuals "want something in this world, the Jew holds the door." Mallory's appearance also drew scrutiny on previous social media posts by the Women's March co-founder showcasing alleged support for Farrakhan.

Behar introduced the topic questioning what was the appropriate response to the revelation of Mallory's relationship with Farrakhan.

"Is this guilt by association?" Behar asked. "Or should [Mallory] be taken out of her leadership position?"

McCain pointed out that it wasn't just Mallory's attendance at the Saviour's Day address that attracted criticism, but also previous social media posts she made, including a photo of the Women's March co-founder and Farrakhan with a caption citing him as the "GOAT," an acronym for "greatest of all time."

Behar attempted to clarify that Mallory's relationship was Farrakhan was of a personal nature.

"She credits the Nation of Islam for supporting her after her son's father was murdered 17 years ago," Behar said. "So she has a personal relationship."

McCain drew parallels between the criticism leveled at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for inviting speakers that could be labeled as controversial, such as French politician Marion Marechal Le Pen, and the controversy surrounding Mallory.

"Remember when we had a conversation about how CPAC was Nazi-friendly?" McCain asked. "Louis Farrakhan said 'Hitler was a very great man' ... this is black and white. If [someone] thinks Hitler is a great man, don't associate with the person."

"There should be no normalizing of this, one way or the other," McCain added.

"I think she needs to call out Farrakhan and not the Nation of Islam ... you absolutely need to disassociate yourself," Paula Faris said.

"Part of learning to be a leader effectively is that you have to use your voice and you have to be very clear. Now, you work with people all the time with whom you disagree," Jarrett said. "Goodness knows I met with the Koch Brothers when we were working on criminal justice, or Rupert Murdoch when we were working on immigration reform. But if you want to lead an inclusive moment, you have to be clear about hate, and you have to be against it."

McCain shot back.

"But the Koch Brothers and Ruport Murdoch are nowhere near anyone who said 'Hitler was a great man' or that 'white folks are going down' ... There's a very big difference between meeting with someone who ideologically has a different opinion and perspective and someone who thinks that Hitler was a very great man," she said.

"I think it's dangerous to say that the Koch Brothers or Rupert Murdoch are in anyway the same as Louis Farrakhan," McCain added. "There's a difference between meeting with someone I think is a hate leader ... I wouldn't meet with David Duke."

Jarrett said she wanted to bring up the Koch brothers to make the point that people sometimes meet with those with whom they disagree, saying she was not making a moral equivalence.

On Wednesday, the northwest regional chapter of the Planned Parenthood Federation announced that it would cut ties with Mallory, as the controversy around her relationship with Farrakhan intensified.