Trump’s David Duke Denials

 

David Suderman, Senior Editor at Reason Magazine, is wondering why Trump pretends to not to have any knowledge of supporter David Duke, when in 2000 Trump specifically pointed Duke out as the reason why Trump wouldn’t ever run on a ‘Reform Party’ ticket.

Trump supporters: What say you?

Donald Trump Repeatedly Refuses to Disavow Support From Former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke

Trump claims he doesn’t know who Duke is. He did in 2000.

Over the course of his campaign, Donald Trump has managed to attracted openly racist supporters, including, most recently, David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan (KKK) grand wizard who declared last week that voting against Trump would be “treason to your heritage.”

So how does Trump feel about Duke’s endorsement? Asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper this morning whether he would disavow Duke’s endorsement and the KKK, the GOP [frontrunner – FIFY Suderman] repeatedly declined to do, saying, instead, that he just didn’t know much about David Duke.

Here’s what Trump said:

I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know — did he endorse me or what’s going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists. And so you’re asking me a question that I’m supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.

When Tapper followed up, clearly noting Duke’s connection to white supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan, Trump again responded that he would “have to look at the group” before weighing in further.

But Trump certainly knew who David Duke was in 2000. As The New York Times reported at the time, Trump declined to be a presidential candidate on the Reform Party ticket explicitly because of Duke’s Klan connections:

Mr. Trump painted a fairly dark picture of the Reform Party in his statement, noting the role of Mr. Buchanan, along with the roles of David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and Lenora Fulani, the former standard-bearer of the New Alliance Party and an advocate of Marxist-Leninist politics.

“The Reform Party now includes a Klansman, Mr. Duke, a neo-Nazi, Mr. Buchanan, and a communist, Ms. Fulani,” he said in his statement. “This is not company I wish to keep.” [via Justin Green]

Indeed, Trump seemed to know who David Duke was last Friday, when he gave a flip disavowal of the former Klansman’s support: “David Duke endorsed me? OK, alright. I disavow, OK?”

Since then, Trump appears to have decided to play dumb about Duke and the Klan, and to pretend that he knows nothing about them at all. That’s a lie, and it’s a lie that tells you plenty about the kind of campaign that Trump is running.

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  1. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    And it will not affect his core base of support one iota.

    • #1
  2. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Unbelievable.

    • #2
  3. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Because Trump is is so unPC, and that is what we love.

    What is more PC than disavowing a white power group like the KKK? After all these guys are just a fringe, there is no way their crazed ideology will dove tail with a nationalist message aimed at White working class people looking to blame anyone who stands out as different for their problems. Who better to break the system than the guys who bomb churches and shoot people at a bible study?

    God. Trump will manage to confirm every idiotic and hateful stereotype of the GOP. Can you imagine what this will be like in the general election?

    The GOP need to wake the hell up, or we will start seeing these creeps infiltrating our party on a nationalist platform that will slowly ratchet up to full blown neo revisionist fascism.

    • #3
  4. James Madison Member
    James Madison
    @JamesMadison

    Allegedly, PT Barnum said there is no such thing as bad publicity. Henry Ford II said, never explain, never complain.

    We are talking about this. That is what Trump wants – headlines squeezing out policy or faux pas’s.

    Trump doesn’t care what we think. We aren’t going to vote for him. And, no one is going to shame him. He knows he can wiggle out of this later. This is like the President not providing a birth certificate. He was in the news. His name and the names of his accusers were publicized. And, then the President lowered the boom. . . . after he got out of it what he needed. The President consolidated his base and raised his street cred with his constituents. It is media management.

    Trump is not a genius. His lack of dignity and huge ego feed the PT Barnum approach to promotion. He is following the “Hank the Deuce” Ford strategy for now. Then, after the media and we condemn him, he will cry foul, political correctness gone amok. And he will make himself out to be the victim. Shame on us. We are bullies!

    But eventually, Mr. Trump is going to run into people who will mock him and tell to go to hell. See Vicente Fox. Or the first time he crosses Vlad Putin. Then, the bravura and ego will wilt. And so will his make up.

    • #4
  5. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Valiuth:God. Trump will manage to confirm every idiotic and hateful stereotype of the GOP. Can you imagine what this will be like in the general election?

    It’s unbelievable. Everything conservatives believe and everything we’ve worked for is being destroyed. It’s hard not to go deep into conspiracy territory here, because he’s really like a machine designed to destroy America.

    • #5
  6. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    He’ll “disavow” them tomorrow, I predict.

    With this, and those comments about Tienanmen Square, I have virtually reached the conclusion that I cannot vote for this man even against Hillary Clinton.

    • #6
  7. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Valiuth: Trump will manage to confirm every idiotic and hateful stereotype of the GOP.

    Well, let’s face it: It turns out more of those stereotypes were true than we ever dreamt. We’ve been in deep denial.

    • #7
  8. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Leigh:He’ll “disavow” them tomorrow, I predict.

    With this, and those comments about Tienanmen Square, I have virtually reached the conclusion that I cannot vote for this man even against Hillary Clinton.

    Wait. What did he say about Tienanmen Square?

    • #8
  9. James Madison Member
    James Madison
    @JamesMadison

    Claire,

    “Everything conservatives believe and everything we’ve worked for is being destroyed. It’s hard not to go deep into conspiracy territory here, because he’s really like a machine designed to destroy America.”

    Remember, there may yet be a reaction to this . . . Don’t despair, even if despair is warranted. Stay focused on 1. Who you are. 2. Your family. 3. Your ideas. And 4. Your friends. The country will take care of itself – kind of.

    A Trump candidacy and administration might open the door for us in 2020. But, we are better if Hillary takes the reigns for 4 years.

    Hopefully the Rush’s and Levine’s will get wiser too. They are so busy monetizing conservatism, Reagan and Thatcher, that they miss the point. GOP establishment was a pure exercise in nonsense. Also in 2020, we will have Ben Sasse.

    Cheers!

    • #9
  10. Redneck Desi Inactive
    Redneck Desi
    @RedneckDesi

    I officially hate Trump and dislike the Trumpkins.

    • #10
  11. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Valiuth: Trump will manage to confirm every idiotic and hateful stereotype of the GOP.

    Well, let’s face it: It turns out more of those stereotypes were true than we ever dreamt. We’ve been in deep denial.

    I don’t think any of those people were part of the GOP until Trump brought them along, and the talk radio establishment anointed them as the “conservative base” because of their anger at the “establishment”. Turns out they were angry not because of some conservative principles but because they probably thought the “establishment” are just a bunch of Jews plotting the down fall of the white race. Trump doesn’t care who these people are, he just knows they cheer and clap when he bashes Mexicans and foreigners, and expresses his conspiracy theories.  Which is his only saving grace in the matter, not that it helps the situation.

    • #11
  12. James Madison Member
    James Madison
    @JamesMadison

    Not “Trumpkins.” You mean the good people who vote for Mr. Trump don’t you? Wink, wink.

    • #12
  13. Brian McMenomy Inactive
    Brian McMenomy
    @BrianMcMenomy

    When truth or self-knowledge no longer matter, it’s amazing what you can get away with.

    • #13
  14. David Sussman Contributor
    David Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Valiuth:God. Trump will manage to confirm every idiotic and hateful stereotype of the GOP. Can you imagine what this will be like in the general election?

    It’s unbelievable. Everything conservatives believe and everything we’ve worked for is being destroyed. It’s hard not to go deep into conspiracy territory here, because he’s really like a machine designed to destroy America.

    6 months ago we had discussions about him being a stalking horse for Hillary. While I don’t think Trumps megalomaniacal ego would allow himself to be used by others, the question begs how the GOP could nominate a worse candidate.

    • #14
  15. Tyler Boliver Inactive
    Tyler Boliver
    @Marlowe

    Trump has no interest in upsetting his so called “alt-right” base. Those of us who have been fighting against the alt-right online, know they are made up of fascist and white nationalist. Trump may not want to acknowledge them, but I’m sure his campaign knows they do a lot of heavy lifting for him. These are the people who call anyone who believes in liberty a “cuckservative”. They are despicable.

    • #15
  16. David Sussman Contributor
    David Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    James Madison: A Trump candidacy and administration might open the door for us in 2020. But, we are better if Hillary takes the reigns for 4 years.

    JM, sorry but I vehemently disagree. We heard the same thing in 2008 from Conservatives referring to Obama. They said people will awaken and 2012 will be the u-turn. Now, 8 years later, the country is far worse off, and with SCOTUS, being threatened even further.

    • #16
  17. Herbert Inactive
    Herbert
    @Herbert

    Valiuth:Because Trump is is so unPC, and that is what we love.

    yep,  the well has been so poisoned, that this bit about Trump failing to condemn white supremacists is like water off a ducks back….

    • #17
  18. Brian Watt Inactive
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Leigh:He’ll “disavow” them tomorrow, I predict.

    With this, and those comments about Tienanmen Square, I have virtually reached the conclusion that I cannot vote for this man even against Hillary Clinton.

    I’ve got the TV on. He apparently just tweeted that he disavows them. LOL.

    • #18
  19. Brian Watt Inactive
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Valiuth:

    Leigh:He’ll “disavow” them tomorrow, I predict.

    With this, and those comments about Tienanmen Square, I have virtually reached the conclusion that I cannot vote for this man even against Hillary Clinton.

    Wait. What did he say about Tienanmen Square?

    An interview that Trump gave to Playboy in 1990 has just come to my attention. If I’m the last to know about it, forgive me. Trump was asked about Gorbachev — who was nearing the end of his time in power. Trump said, “Russia is out of control and the leadership knows it. That’s my problem with Gorbachev. Not a firm enough hand.” His interviewer asked, “You mean firm hand as in China?” Trump answered, “When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak … as being spit on by the rest of the world –” Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner

    • #19
  20. rosegarden sj dad Member
    rosegarden sj dad
    @rosegardensjdad

    Guys, I’m not a Trump supporter *at all* and have been duly flabbergasted by many of his comments, but on this one, I see what he is doing. The question was a gotcha question and he just pleaded ignorance in order to squirm out. His position–I need to vet people and organizations before I disavow them–is of course legit, and he probably was worried that a Duke disavowal would lead to a series of *other* questions about people and organizations, and he doesn’t want to be in that discussion, so he just ducked.  Wimpy, but not as bad as some other dodges he’s made.

    • #20
  21. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Remember Trumps bad isn’t motivated by racial animus, which is why Trump felt perfectly comfortable denying this right away.

    • #21
  22. James Madison Member
    James Madison
    @JamesMadison

    David,

    First, Obama is not Hillary. He was the first black President and the US lives under the weight of slavery and discrimination. A vote for Obama was a vote for freedom from accusations of racism – or so it was perceived. Obama’s re-election was essential to prove the US was not racist.

    Hillary is just dirtier, less endearing. The first woman President thing will not be enough to carry her through a second election. Many women are not fans of Hillary. 90 plus percent of African Americans voted for the President. 100% of all liberals voted for him. Two-thirds of Hispanics. That is almost 40% or more of the electorate right there. He got about 40% of the independents, three quarters of Asians, and hit his mark. She does not poll the same with these groups – and probably won’t in 2020 if the GOP can find a candidate who is not a clown (Ben Sasse anybody?).

    If we are going to have Trump, we have Trump. Better to have Hillary. In 2020 we can attack more easily against someone who was not one of us and flew an enemy flag than someone who is not one of us and flew our flag.

    To be truthful, if Trump is the nominee and loses, the Supreme Court is lost for the next 30 years or more.

    If Trump is the nominee and wins, he might pick some so-so SC judges, but that is doubtful.

    So live with it. Adapt. We might hold the House – – so that could be used to slow him down a bit. Not much. The Senate will likely shift to the Dems. It’s a mess. The ME, ISIS, Russia and China will have a field day. Trump is not courageous at all – he is an inexperienced foreign policy buffoon. Insulting people in foreign policy does not work. So, imagine if Trump is elected as a Republican. How can we unseat the man and then win? On the other hand, if Hillary in the President she will arrive as damaged goods. We have four years to get ready after making a fool out of ourselves in 2016 (assuming Trump is the guy).

    The situation is the situation. Figure out the best tack and take it. Never despair. Plan. Act.

    • #22
  23. J. Martin Rogers Member
    J. Martin Rogers
    @

    And so it begins…

    This is the catch 22 Trump has made for himself.  He needs the free media but to get it must offer up controversy.  Thus far no controversy brings backlash.  That will end.  Is he that unaware?

    Tapper’s response at the end tells the tale.  He just says OK and lets it go.  Once the nomination is secure Tapper and his ilk will go in for the kill.  He can only play the Kelly card so many times before he runs out of sympathetic interviewers, then he will be reduced to trying to get on Hannity every night.

    • #23
  24. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    rosegarden sj dad:Guys, I’m not a Trump supporter *at all* and have been duly flabbergasted by many of his comments, but on this one, I see what he is doing. The question was a gotcha question and he just pleaded ignorance in order to squirm out. His position–I need to vet people and organizations before I disavow them–is of course legit, and he probably was worried that a Duke disavowal would lead to a series of *other* questions about people and organizations, and he doesn’t want to be in that discussion, so he just ducked. Wimpy, but not as bad as some other dodges he’s made.

    This is David Duke and the KKK, and Trump is an adult American.

    I also fail to see what’s so hard about condemning the one you know (as we know he knows about Duke) but saying he’d have to check anything more obscure. I watched the video and don’t see any excuse whatsoever.

    I will defend Trump on one thing — I’ll defend him on Two Corinthians.

    • #24
  25. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Brian Watt:

    Valiuth:

    Leigh:He’ll “disavow” them tomorrow, I predict.

    With this, and those comments about Tienanmen Square, I have virtually reached the conclusion that I cannot vote for this man even against Hillary Clinton.

    Wait. What did he say about Tienanmen Square?

    An interview that Trump gave to Playboy in 1990 has just come to my attention. If I’m the last to know about it, forgive me. Trump was asked about Gorbachev — who was nearing the end of his time in power. Trump said, “Russia is out of control and the leadership knows it. That’s my problem with Gorbachev. Not a firm enough hand.” His interviewer asked, “You mean firm hand as in China?” Trump answered, “When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak … as being spit on by the rest of the world –” Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner

    Thanks, beat me to it. It’s “old news,” except that it parallels far too closely things he’s said about North Korea and Putin today.

    His idea of “strength” is not “strength of character” — it’s brute force.

    • #25
  26. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Leigh: far too closely things he’s said about North Korea and Putin today.

    Part of me doesn’t want to know what he said today, but some horrible can’t-stop-watching-this-train-wreck part of me kind of does want to know. What did he say today?

    • #26
  27. Tyler Boliver Inactive
    Tyler Boliver
    @Marlowe

    Leigh:

    Thanks, beat me to it. It’s “old news,” except that it parallels far too closely things he’s said about North Korea and Putin today.

    His idea of “strength” is not “strength of character” — it’s brute force.

    Exactly, and it is heart breaking, to see so many people seduced by a message of “brute force”.  I never thought such a backwards message could appeal to the people in my party. How wrong I was.

    • #27
  28. rico Inactive
    rico
    @rico

    If Trump sits in front of another journalist and that journalist doesn’t follow up on Tapper’s question, we’ll have confirmation that the fix is in.

    The good news… we’re approaching a point at which the GOP would be justified in expelling Trump from the party, and would be universally (well, almost universally) credited for doing so.

    • #28
  29. Tyler Boliver Inactive
    Tyler Boliver
    @Marlowe

    rico:If Trump sits in front of another journalist and that journalist doesn’t follow up on Tapper’s question, we’ll have confirmation that the fix is in.

    The good news… we’re approaching a point at which the GOP would be justified in expelling Trump from the party, and would be universally (well, almost universally) credited for doing so.

    Sadly, I don’t think the GOP has the guts to expel Trump.

    • #29
  30. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    The difference is that a Republican Congress will be more afraid of Trump than they would be of Hillary, so Trump will be able to do more harm and Republicans will get he blame.  But it’s not the politically incorrect things that threaten.  He won’t ban Muslims nor deport illegal Mexicans but he might precipitate trade wars, make Obama care and the regulatory state more permanent and harder to change and he is unlikely to move programs to the states, eliminate  Departments such as Education, Energy, Commerce, nor will he reduce Federal Reserve’s power.   These things will continue to make us less competitive but the  Chinese may respond to tariffs or threats of tariffs by actually revaluing significantly as if caving in, but  we will regret it, they won’t.  Trumps ambiguity in foreign affairs and his ego, like Obama’s, may create uncertainty rather than the perception of power and decisiveness.    Of course I don’t know what he’ll do, thats the problem, maybe he doesn’t either.  We’re buying a pig in a poke.

    • #30
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