WASHINGTON - D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) issued an apology Sunday for statements made in a video posted on social media, where he alludes to a popular conspiracy theory that a well-known Jewish family controls the weather. This, despite having made similar remarks in the past as well as controversial posts on social media.
The Washington Post reports White uploaded a video on Friday morning where he is talking as he drives through downtown D.C. and comments on a burst of snow he saw.
"It just started snowing out of nowhere this morning. Y'all better pay attention to this climate control," White said according to the video on the Post's website.
White continues, "It's climate manipulation and D.C. keep talking about 'we are a resilient city' and that's a model based off the Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man. Be careful."
The Rothschilds are a well-known European Jewish banking family and have been the subject of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in which people claim the family and other Jewish people control events around the world for their personal gain, according to the Post.
White issued an apology Sunday night: "I work hard everyday to combat racism and prejudices of all kinds. I want to apologize to the Jewish Community and anyone I have offended. The Jewish community have been allies with me in my journey to help people. I did not intend to be Anti- Semitic, and I see I should not have said that after learning from my colleagues."
At a council breakfast in February with the Mayor, and with several Jewish Councilmembers present, White said: "This whole concept with the Rothschilds controlling the world bank as we all know, infusing dollars into major cities. They really, pretty much control the federal government."
The mayor shaking her head at his remarks.
White has made several other posts to social media that many have questioned, including a picture which he took down once he took office. The photo appears to show White at a gun range firing at a target of a white man with the caption "Peace and love, now somebody call your boy a preacher."
Councilmember for Ward 8 @trayonwhite ‘s social media posts under question including a now removed picture of him shooting at a target of a white man. @fox5dc has learned of a 2017 arrest in DC for driving w/ a suspended license. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/65k9eXMyXD— Marina Marraco (@MarinaMarraco) March 20, 2018
What has also posted on social media several videos where he appears to be driving, including one video from last week where he cites "climate manipulation."
According to police sources, White's D.C. driver's license is currently suspended and has been for some time. FOX 5 obtained a criminal complaint, which detailed White's arrest in June 2017.
White was arrested in D.C. for driving with a suspended license after being pulled over for not having the headlights on. That case was dismissed by the office of the Attorney General.
He also posted a video on Facebook, where he was pulled over by a Prince George's County police officer, and it is revealed that his license plates were they were actually registered to the deceased former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry. He made complaints to viewers about the officer in that video, but was actually still driving with a suspended license and was cited for this.
In an interview with FOX 5's Ronica Cleary, White said "Definitely a day to apologize to anybody I offended because it's never my intentions to offend anyone."
He called his remarks "a mistake. I want to correct those mistakes and move on."
To those who he may have hurt by his comments, White tells Cleary, "I made my apologies already both publicly through the media, through social media, to my friends I know that are Jewish, Jewish who've families supported me."
He says not everyone has accepted his apology.
"Some have and haven't. A lot of my friends have. Some people through social media haven't. I'm doing my best to make amends now that's it."
White seems to have no plans to resign.
Following the comments and apology, Mayor Muriel Bowser said: "We have no place for anti-semitism in our community and I learned from his apology that he did not realize and intend for those comments to be anti-Semitic."
She said she believes Councilmember White should be answerable to the community for his actions.
"I hope that people will accept this apology in compassionate spirit and I'm disappointed in some of the ways that racism has come out towards Councilmember White this moment that every day
"I hope that people will accept this apology in a compassionate spirit and I'm disappointed in some of the ways that racism has come out towards Councilmember White in this moment, that everyday politicians in this country say all kinds of bigoted things, and people are calling for his head on a platter when he's really trying to learn and grow," said Rebecca Ennen, Deputy Director of Jews United for Justice.
The group tweeted that it will continue to work with White toward a deeper understanding of anti-Semitism. White also posted a photo with the group on social media.