Atlanta – Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) has wasted little time getting to work in his new role as deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Ellison was appointed to the powerful position of deputy chair almost immediately following the Feb. 25 vote in Atlanta selecting former Labor Secretary Tom Perez as new DNC chair. Perez edged out Ellison as DNC chair by a 235 – 200 margin.
Just days after the appointment Ellison came out swinging, forcefully condemning President Donald Trump for his Tuesday night (Feb. 28) speech to the joint session of Congress. Ellison said a one hour’s-long speech does not erase the rhetoric of his campaign and the deeds of his first month in office.
“President Trump has spent his first five weeks in office making it harder for low-income people to buy a house, rolling back Wall Street regulations, vilifying and scapegoating immigrants and people of color, and taking advantage of working people,” said Ellison in a statement. “In his first address to a joint session of Congress, he gave us no indication that we should expect anything different over the next four years.”
Then on Wednesday (March 1), news emerged that Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions may have lied under oath to the Senate during his confirmation hearings when asked by Sen. Al Franken if anyone in the Trump campaign had communications with Russian authorities. Sessions answered that he did not know of anyone in the Trump camp having had talks with Russia and added that he himself did not. A Washington Post story citing unnamed sources said Sessions on two occasions spoke with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. while acting as a top surrogate to the Trump campaign. Ellison said Session’s effort to mislead the Senate is an outright crime.
‘Since it has now come to light that Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions lied under oath about meeting with Russian officials during the campaign, we must be entirely clear on one thing – perjury is a felony and may be punishable by prison for up to five years” said Ellison.
The deputy chair said he will fully resist the efforts of Trump to divide America and rollback gains of previously marginalized people.
“As long as the president is committed to dividing Americans and making life more difficult for millions of Americans, I will remain committed to standing in his way,” said Ellison. “You can count on that.”