“The View” co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain grilled Women's March co-founder Tamika Mallory over her ties to Louis Farrakhan in a heated discussion on Monday morning. Mallory raised eyebrows when she said that the controversial Nation of Islam leader is the “greatest of all time because of what he’s done in black communities.”
“Tamika, you came under some fire for your relationship with Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam,” Hostin told the guest. “He’s known for being anti-Semitic, for being homophobic, but you do attend his events and you posted… a photo calling him the G.O.A.T., which means the greatest of all time. You are running an organization that says it fights bigotry. Do you understand why your association with him is quite problematic?”
Mallory fired back, “I think it’s important to put my attendance, my presence at Savior’s Day, which is the highest holy day for the Nation of Islam, in proper context.”
The Women's March co-founder then said that “as a leader, as a black leader, in a country that is still dealing with some very serious, unresolved issues, as it relates to the black experience in this country,” she often has to go into “difficult spaces” to promote her cause.
“I wrote a piece immediately following the beginning of this controversy, talking about wherever my people are, that’s where I must also be,” Mallory said. “I also go into prisons… I am trying to help people.”
Mallory said that “just because you go into a space with someone that does not mean that you agree with everything that they say,” but Hostin immediately pushed back, asking, “Why call him the greatest of all time?”
“I didn’t call him the greatest of all time because of his rhetoric. I called him the greatest of all time because of what he’s done in black communities,” Mallory said.
The show’s conservative voice, Meghan McCain, quickly jumped in.
“I would never be comfortable supporting someone who (said) … ‘I’m not anti-Semite, I’m anti-termite. It’s the wicked Jews, the false Jews that are promoting lesbianism, homosexuality” McCain said, quoting Farrakhan.
McCain then said that reporters feel there is anti-Semitism surrounding the Women’s March.
“A lot of people, by a lot of people I include me in this, think you’re using your organization as anti-Semitism masked in activism and that you’re using identity politics to shield yourself from critiques,” McCain said. “You’re talking about all women being invited to that march? I’m pro-life. We were not invited.”
A fired-up McCain then added that all women, including Jewish and conservative women, should be welcomed. Mallory was joined by Women’s March co-founder Bob Bland in Monday's segment, which didn’t feature co-hosts Abby Huntsman or Joy Behar, who gave up their seats on the show for the Women’s March leaders.
“Those allegations are not true,” Bland responded.
“So the journalist I spoke to was lying?” McCain asked.
Bland then accused the journalist of receiving untruthful insight and said the Women’s March “unequivocally condemns anti-Semitism.”
McCain then asked if she condemns Farrakhan’s remarks about Jewish people.
“Yes, and we have repeatedly,” Bland said as Mallory remained stone silent. “We condemn any statements of hate.”
McCain, visibly annoyed, said she was confused as she continued to read controversial, hateful quotes attributed to Farrakhan.
“We did not make those remarks,” Mallory said.
McCain reminded her that she’s associating with someone who does.
“What I will say to you is, I don’t agree with many of Minister Farrakhan’s statements,” Mallory said.
McCain asked if she specifically disagrees with Farrakhan's rhetoric about Jewish people – to which Mallory said she doesn’t agree.
McCain asked, “Do you condemn them?”
Mallory refused to condemn the remarks and simply repeated that she doesn’t agree.
“You won’t condemn it,” McCain pointed out.
“To be very clear, it’s not my language. It’s not the way that I speak,” Mallory said.
McCain then said Mallory was associating with “extreme anti-Semitism.”
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg, who was silent for most of the segment, then asked if Mallory understood why some people think it would be best if she stepped down from her position atop the Women’s March.
“I also know of people who don’t want me to step down,” she answered. “There is both sides of that.”
In a speech in February, Farrakhan praised Mallory and declared “the powerful Jews are my enemy.” Last year, a Washington state chapter of the Women's March disbanded in protest because of the national group's links to anti-Semitism.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.