DC lawmaker accused of anti-Semitism: ‘I’m done apologizing’

WASHINGTON — Councilman Trayon White, D-Ward 8, used a Facebook post to respond to those who accused him of anti-Semitism, denying a Washington Post report that said he left early from a tour of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday.

In the Facebook live video, posted on Saturday morning, White defended himself, saying “it was a lie” that he left the tour early.

“I stayed the whole time. I voluntarily went and I took my staff. And I told them ‘No cameras, no media’ because I’m not doing it for that,” said White in the 36-minute post. “If people don’t think I’m sincere, that’s on them.”

White said that when he found out that a reporter was following him, he stepped away from the tour group to see the museum by himself.

In the video, White is dressed in a dark suit and white shirt, standing on the sidewalk. He said he is done apologizing and won’t resign.

He also defended a $500 contribution he made to an event where Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan denounced Jews as powerful enemies.

“When we supported them with a $500 check, they supported me,” White said.

He vowed to survive the controversy, which began last month on an unseasonably cold day when he posted a Facebook video in which he advanced an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that Jewish financiers manipulate the weather to control cities.

He publicly apologized through posts on social media and subsequently worked with Jewish rabbis and leaders from Jews United for Justice to gain a better understanding about Jewish history.

“It’s definitely been a learning experience for me, but I’ve said my apologies, and I’m done with that.” White said in his latest video. I’m done apologizing about that. I was sincere.”

White rejected a move by some council members to censure him.

Watch the video below, courtesy of The Washington Post.

WTOP’s Dick Uliano contributed to this report.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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