Following the explosive on-air clash between Fox News host Sean Hannity and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), it was hard to imagine the situation getting any more fiery. But allegations last night on Hannity's show continued to link the congressman to some controversial figures -- individuals who are seen by some as divisive, dangerous and unpalatable.
During a brief segment last night, Hannity accused the politician of associating (in the past) with the Minister Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the controversial Nation of Islam, and Khalid Muhammed, a deceased Black Militant leader, Politico reports. Additionally, he compared Ellison's past rhetoric to the extremities regularly uttered by the Ku Klux Klan.
Photo Credit: Fox News
"The reality is, the Congressman not only associated with these radicals -- but he spent years spewing their hateful rhetoric," Hannity charged, referring to the congressman's time as a law student in the 1980s and 1990s.
"What is the difference, I mean, do we have somebody then in Congress that is the equivalent of one side of what the Klan is?," he continued. "Because I view the rabid ranting of Khalid Mohammed as frightening in terms of racism, anti-Semitism."
Watch the brief video, below:
TPM has a longer version, which includes more of Hannity's commentary. In it, the host can be seen more fervently recapping the congressman's past connections with and defense of Farrakhan. While Ellison denounced the Nation of Islam in 2006 when Hannity said his past caught up with him, many questions still remain.
See the longer video, below:
Hannity also read a statement on-air from the congressman's office. Here's the text of the release, which was later provided to TPM by Ellison's spokesperson:
"Tomorrow, a set of devastating cuts will hit every American, costing 750,000 jobs over the course of the year if Congress doesn't act. The seriousness of these cuts was the subject and context of my spirited exchange with Sean Hannity on Tuesday night.
Americans deserve journalists who provide responsible, objective reporting. Instead, Sean Hannity is bringing up my religion and making personal attacks. This is sad. Can we get back to what's best for the American people now?"
So, there you have it. There's clearly little love between Hannity and Ellison. But the congressman's background, regardless of how long ago his controversial associations were formed and later rejected, is sure to create emotions ranging from intrigue to caution.