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Top adviser to Dem Senate candidate posted photo with religious leader who compared Jews to termites

FIRST ON FOX: A top political adviser to a House Democrat, who is running for the Senate in a state that has become a hotbed for anti-Israel activism, attended a convention organized by one of the most notorious antisemites in the United States.

Democratic Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin’s deputy political director, Terra Defoe, posted on Facebook in 2017 about her “full week” of “supporting the Nation of Islam and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan” at the Nation of Islam’s “Saviours’ Day Convention.”

Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, has been vocal about what he thinks of Jews, comparing them to termites and saying they are “Satanic.”

“Great time with my Brothers at Savior’s Day Convention,” Defoe said, including the names of some of the Nation of Islam activists she attended with.

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Slotkin Farrakhan

Dep. Rep. Elissa Slotkin and Minister Farrakhan (Getty Images)

One of the photos DeFoe posted included Farrakhan and a smiling Mike Duggan, the Democratic mayor of Detroit recently praised by President Biden at the NAACP dinner earlier this month, alongside Nation of Islam members. Duggan has also visited the Biden White House multiple times.

A spokesperson for Duggan claimed “the mayor has never attended a Saviours’ day event.”

“This was a private meeting. At the meeting, the mayor did address the issue of antisemitic language directly with Minister Farrakhan,” John Roach, director of media relations for the City of Detroit told Fox News Digital. “The mayor has made it a practice to meet with an entire range of political voices, from far right wing voices, including several top officials in the Trump administration, and far left wing voices, including many activist groups.”

Farrakhan has praised Duggan multiple times, including at this year’s Saviours’ Day convention in Detoit, where he thanked him and the deputy mayor for the “wonderful and kind way you have received us.” In 2017, DeFoe read a proclamation from Duggan’s office to the participants of the convention welcoming the convention “home” to Detroit, according to the Nation of Islam’s “Final Call” newsletter.

Defoe’s personal website lists multiple political positions she has held, including serving as a Detroit Delegation Organizer to the Michigan House Democrats and a senior adviser to Duggan. She has also worked in ministry and has served as the host of a cable television talk show called “On the Floor” with Dr. Terra DeFoe, which airs in Detroit.

Between July 2023 and March 2024, DeFoe received almost $60,000 from Slotkin’s campaign for a range of payments, including salary, stipends, and reimbursements, according to FEC records reviewed by Fox News Digital. March 2024 disbursements are from the most up-to-date public filings, so the amount will likely be higher when July’s report is released.

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farrakhan DeFoe

Photo of Terra DeFoe alongside Farrakhan posted to her Facebook page in 2017 (Facebook/Screenshot- Terra DeFoe)

In 2019, two years after DeFoe attended the Nation of Islam convention, she invited Troy Muhammad onto her talk show. Muhammad, who serves as a “State Representative for Minister Louis Farrakhan and Minister of Muhammad Mosque No. 1” and was pictured in DeFoe’s 2017 Facebook post, was described by DeFoe in the introduction as a “valued community leader in Detroit.” The interview, which lasted nine minutes, according to an archived copy, did not include any questions about Farrakhan’s controversial antisemitic comments.

“Elissa Slotkin is running to the radical antisemitic fringes of the Democratic Party to win her primary campaign against Hill Harper,” a national GOP strategist told Fox News Digital. 

Farrakhan has compared Jewish people to termites, praised Hitler as a “great man” and has become one of the most controversial religious figures in the United States due to his derogatory comments about Israel.

Since taking leadership of the Nation of Islam in the late 1970s, Farrakhan has been accused of antisemitism and homophobia for his comments and sermons.

Farrakhan has blamed Jews for, among other things, the slave trade, Jim Crow and black oppression in general.

U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., speaks to United Auto Workers members and others at a rally after marching in the Detroit Labor Day Parade (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

During a speech in Chicago in 1996, Farrakhan denounced Jews as “the synagogue of Satan.”

“Louis Farrakhan is an unabashed Jew hater who has used his very public platform to spread abhorrent antisemitic stereotypes, while at the same time recruiting and developing a veritable army of followers indoctrinated into the cult of hatred towards Jews and marginalized communities,” Brooke Goldstein, human rights attorney and executive director of The Lawfare Project, told Fox News Digital earlier this year.

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“Farrakhan, whose support for, and appreciation of, Islamist regimes like Iran, which deprive their own citizens of basic human rights while exporting global terrorism, has spread vitriol accusing Jews of, among many other things, seeking to manipulate and exploit Black people.”

Slotkin, who is Jewish, has spoken out against the violence that has unfolded on college campuses as part of the anti-Israel protests and called on universities to do more to keep students safe from antisemitism.

Fox News Digital reached out to Slotkin’s office and campaign but did not receive a response.


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