WASHINGTON - D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser spoke out about a D.C. council member facing accusations of using a constituent fund to donate to an event where Minister Louis Farrakhan made anti-Jewish and transgendered statements.
Last month, Councilmember Trayon White (D-Ward 8) apologized for a video he posted on social media in which he referenced a popular anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that says a well-known European Jewish banking family controlled the weather. But over the past week, a pair of reports by the Washington Post are alleging that White left a private guided tour at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum early and that he made a $500 donation to Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam event from his Constituent Services Fund.
“The people of the District of Columbia don't tolerate hate or anti-Semitism in any way, shape or form and I believe that the council member has to make that abundantly clear as well,” said Bowser. “That has not been my experience with him and I am hopeful that he will make that clear.”
So far, three council members, Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1), Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) and Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), have called for White to be officially reprimanded by the council. A fourth council member, Elissa Silverman (I-At-Large) said she is considering joining that call.
A spokesperson for D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson told FOX 5 Monday night that the majority of the council does not support a reprimand or censure of White, but there is an investigation underway on White's constituent services contribution.
In a defensive Facebook Live video posted this weekend, White declared he is "done apologizing" and is "not going anywhere," comparing himself at times to late Mayor and Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry.
On Saturday night, White agreed to an interview with FOX 5 where disputed the reports about why he left the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum tour early and rejected to answer questions over his donation to the Nation of Islam.
"The reality is we are facing a lot of social ills in the community, especially in Ward 8, around education, health care, unemployment, homelessness,” White told FOX 5. “So that is what I am trying to spend my time focused on – just the issues and social ills facing my community, which I have been doing for past 16 years. All of this is a distraction for me.”
FOX 5 reached out to White’s chief of staff for an interview, but have not heard back as of Monday evening.