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Former Obama Official Recorded Spewing Racist Rant

Graham Perdue
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A former national security adviser to President Barack Obama went viral for a racist tirade aimed at a street vendor in New York City. Stuart Seldowitz called the man a “terrorist” and made disparaging comments about the his religion.

In the video that quickly circulated on social media, Seldowitz is seen telling the food seller that he will be tortured “when they deport you back to Egypt.”

Seldowitz served as acting director for the National Security Council South Asia Directorate from 2009 to 2011. A sweeping search for his identity ended when Seldowitz told the Daily Beast, “The bottom line is, yes it’s me.”


In a time when virtually anything may be labeled as “racist” or “phobic,” there is little argument that Seldowitz’s rant crossed several lines. In the widely-circulated video, he told the vendor that Egyptian security forces will come after his family.

The former Obama official spewed, “The Mukhabarat in Egypt will get your parents. Does your father like his fingernails? They will take them out one-by-one.”

The unnamed vendor asked Seldowitz to leave, but that only increased his nasty diatribe. He called the merchant “ignorant” and insulted him for “selling food in a food cart.”

The victim repeatedly replied that he didn’t speak English and asked his attacker to leave. Instead, the harasser appeared to take a photograph and said he would send it to “friends in immigration.” 

A second video showed Seldowitz asking the vendor if he had a permit to sell his food and if he possessed a visa.


The vendor told Seldowitz that if he was not going to buy anything he needed to leave. Unpersuaded, Seldowitz instead started a new series of verbal attacks and implied that he was a supporter of Hamas terrorists.

He said, “You support killing young children.” The vendor responded, “You kill children, not me. Go.” Seldowitz then said, “I didn’t kill children. If we killed 4,000 Palestinian kids, it wasn’t enough.” 

The former federal official later told City & State that he regretted the encounter and “I’m sorry. But you know, in the heat of the moment, I said things that probably I shouldn’t have said.”

The New York-based lobbying group with which Seldowitz served as a consultant, Gotham Government Relations, severed its relationship with him Tuesday evening. In a statement, the organization called his words “vile, racist and beneath the dignity of the standards we practice.”