A D.C. Council member who made national headlines in 2018 after suggesting that Jewish financiers control the weather is now running for mayor in the district.
Ward 8 Council member Trayon White Sr., a Democrat, is throwing his hat in the ring to possibly unseat Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser, who has not yet announced whether she intends to seek another term.
“He has a tremendous amount of support coming his way because he is willing to speak out for and advocate for those who need the leadership the most,” an adviser for White told local media Wednesday.
He is not to be confused with Robert White, a progressive Democrat who is also running for D.C. mayor.
Trayon White sparked a firestorm in March of 2018 after he filmed himself driving through downtown Washington as snowflakes fell on his windshield and ranted about “climate manipulation.”
“And D.C. keep talking about, ‘We’re a resilient city.’ And that’s a model based off the Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man,” he said in the now-deleted video. “Be careful.”
The Rothschilds, a European Jewish banking family descended from Mayer Amschel Rothschild, have been the subject of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories for centuries, including that they control the world’s financial institutions and manipulate world events to their benefit.
White initially defended his comments, saying, “The video says what it says,” but he later apologized to the Jewish community.
“I want to apologize to the Jewish Community and anyone I have offended,” Mr. White tweeted at the time. “The Jewish community have been allies with me in my journey to help people. I did not intend to be anti-Semitic, and I see I should not have said that after learning from my colleagues.”
In addition to his comments about the Rothschilds, White also tweeted at prominent anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in 2013 and said he was “honored” to share a birthday with Farrakhan, adding, “I must respect his intelligence, will, & boldness.”
White would later come under fire in 2018 after it was reported that he donated $500 to a Nation of Islam convention in Chicago where Farrakhan attacked “powerful Jews” as his enemy and made other disparaging comments.
“I am not resigning, I’m not backing down, I’m not discouraged, I’m not depressed, so run all the media stories you want because my people are going to support me,” White said at the time when faced with backlash.
News of White’s candidacy was first reported by Washington City Paper.
“Got some things I’m considering and working out,” he told the paper Wednesday.