White House adviser Susan Rice met with prominent race activist Benjamin Crump on Friday, days after he stoked online vitriol against a pregnant, white New York City nurse who had been falsely accused of stealing a bike from black teenagers.
Crump, who is best known for his involvement in the Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin cases, had posted a video on May 15 of an argument between the nurse, Sarah Comrie, and a group of black teenagers over a city bike rental. He falsely accused Comrie of stealing the bike and suggested she was another example of a “white woman” putting young black men in danger.
However, the nurse‘s lawyer, Justin Marino, released a receipt that showed Comrie had purchased the bike in April. He criticized Crump for fueling the “outrage” against Comrie, who has since gone into hiding.
Rice‘s meeting with Crump took place shortly after it was revealed that his claims against Comrie were false. The meeting was meant to discuss the killing of one of Crump‘s clients on vacation in Mexico last October and to pressure Mexican officials to extradite suspects implicated in the case.
The White House domestic policy council director has previously faced criticism for her handling of the historic surge in illegal immigrants at the southern border. During the Obama administration, Rice had falsely claimed in a series of interviews that a video about the Prophet Muhammad was the cause of attacks on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
Meanwhile, Crump has a history of making overblown claims in racially tinged cases. He had accused Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson of executing black teenager Michael Brown, which set off riots in the St. Louis suburb. Ultimately, evidence showed that Brown was the one who had attacked Wilson and that he had been shot while moving towards him.
While Crump‘s claim against Comrie was proven false, it appears that his meeting with Rice served multiple purposes, with her looking to discuss key issues and him hoping to have the White House put pressure on Mexican officials. It remains to be seen what will come of the meeting, but it is sure to be closely watched given the timelines and personalities involved.