David Axelrod defended Rev. Jeremiah Wright and President Obama's relationship with Al Sharpton in an appearance on the O'Reilly Factor on Fox News:
"Well, Rev. Wright was [Obama's] minister," Axelrod said in answering a question from Bill O'Reilly. "You call him whatever you call him -- and obviously some of the things he said were incendiary but that wasn't the relationship that the president had with him. That wasn't -- those weren't the sermons that the president heard in church, those weren't the sermons that he regularly delivered, and, you know, you should also point out he is an honored U.S. Marine and he was an internationally recognized religious leader. So I think you can characterize him one way or another."
On Al Sharpton, Axelrod said, "Bill, you know, you don't decide and I don't decide who leaders in a community are. Al Sharpton is widely regarded as a leader within the African-American community, he is a civil rights leader."
O'Reilly followed up, "Do you think the president respects Al Sharpton?"
"I think he respects his leadership on these civil rights issues, yes, I do," said Axelrod.
When asked why the president lets someone like Sharpton who owes taxes to the IRS, the former Obama aide brought up Donald Trump. "No. I don't think it's strange. There are people who have had--look, Donald Trump has I'm sure been in the White House. He has gone through bankruptcy proceedings. He has had financial problems. That didn't impeach him from being a visitor in the White House."
Over the weekend, the Washington Postreported that a Texas hunting camp with a racially-charged name, which was painted on a rock on the property, had been leased by Rick Perry and his family. The property had long been known by that name, even before the Perry family had anything to do with it.