CNN's Victor Blackwell called out conservative columnist Siraj Hashmi after he deflected questions about former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon's alleged racism by changing the subject to Democrats' ties to Louis Farrakhan.
During a Sunday morning panel discussion, Blackwell noted that Bannon had recently told a European audience to wear charges of racism and anti-semitism like a "badge of honor."
"He's been basically expelled from the White House," Hashmi said. "Unless he starts his own media company, which he has talked about doing and even buying Newsweek -- right now, his relevancy is next to none."
The conservative writer then changed the subject to allegations that a leader of the women's march attended a speech by Farrakhan, a Muslim leader in the U.S. who has been accused of anti-semitism.
"There's extremism on both sides of the aisle," Hashmi opined. "And just in the last week we've seen co-organizers of the women's march as well as several democrats and their connections to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and his racist anti-semitic views."
"I think we should have that conversation," Blackwell replied. "But I don't know that any president has invited Louis Farrakhan into the White House to be his chief strategist."
"Barack Obama was pictured with him in 2005," Hashmi interrupted.
"But Louis Farrakhan never had an office in the West Wing," Blackwell pointed out.