By SOPHIA TAREEN
Farrakhan sent an unsolicited statement Thursday to The Associated Press that he said was meant to respond to "outrage expressed by many" over Obama's comments.
The issue arose Sunday, when Farrakhan praised Obama before a large Nation of Islam gathering, even comparing him to the religion's founder, Wallace D. Fard Muhammad, who Farrakhan claims also had a white mother and black father.
The Obama campaign moved quickly to distance itself from Farrakhan. Just hours after the address, the campaign said, "Senator Obama has been clear in his objections to Minister Farrakhan's past pronouncements and has not solicited the minister's support."
Farrakhan has drawn widespread attention in the past for making anti-Semitic remarks, including calling Judaism a "gutter religion." In recent years, officials with the Nation of Islam have said they favor unity and tolerance among religions, and Farrakhan now often quotes the texts of other religions in his speeches.
Following an exchange with Clinton, he then added: "There's no formal offer of help from Minister Farrakhan that would involve me rejecting it. But if the word 'reject' Senator Clinton feels is stronger than the word 'denounce,' then I'm happy to concede the point, and I would reject and denounce."