Donald Trump is a businessman, media personality, and currently the leading Republican candidate for president of the United States. He has made several controversial statements lately, including calling Mexican immigrants rapists, proposing a ban on Muslims entering the country, and bragging that he could shoot someone and not lose voters. Just when everyone thought he could not get any worse, this week he refused to condemn white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan. His latest statement regarding the group is raising a lot of eyebrows and causing conflict within his party.
A former KKK leader praised Trump
Former Klan leader and known anti-Semite David Duke praised Trump as the best Republican candidate. On his radio show, he said:
“…voting against Donald Trump at this point is really treason to your heritage. I’m not saying I endorse everything about Trump, in fact I haven’t formally endorsed him. But I do support his candidacy, and I support voting for him as a strategic action. I hope he does everything we hope he will do.”
Duke was especially fond of Trump’s stance on immigration. Trump had previously stated that he would build a giant wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and deport illegal immigrants. Duke believes that the government, Federal Reserve Bank, and the media are dominated by Jews and Zionists. He believes that the media has been unfair to Trump:
“…the media hates Donald Trump almost as much as they hate me, because he condemns the Banks and the Money Oligarchs of American politics.”
Trump refuses to condemn Duke or the KKK
When pressured to disavow Duke’s approval, Trump claimed not to know him.
“I don’t know — did he endorse me, or what’s going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke…Honestly, I don’t know David Duke. I don’t believe I’ve ever met him. I’m pretty sure I didn’t meet him. And I just don’t know anything about him.”
But a statement Trump made in 2000 contradicts this declaration. At the time, he was thinking about running for president with the Reform Party. He decided against it for the following reason:
“The Reform Party now includes a Klansman, Mr. Duke, a neo-Nazi, Mr. Buchanan, and a communist, Ms. Fulani. This is not company I wish to keep.”
Trump then backtracked and formally disavowed Duke at a press conference. Yet when asked by the press, he would not condemn the KKK. He once again claimed ignorance of the group.
“I have to look at the group. I mean, I don’t know what group you’re talking about. You wouldn’t want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about. I’d have to look.”
He is getting severe backlash
Several members of the Republican party have slammed Trump. Fellow presidential candidate Marco Rubio said:
“We cannot be the party that nominates someone who refuses to condemn white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan. By the way, not only is that wrong, it makes him unelectable. How are we going to grow our party with a nominee that refuses to condemn the Ku Klux Klan?”
He also doubted Trump’s supposed ignorance of the group:
“Don’t tell me he doesn’t know what the Ku Klux Klan is. This is serious.”
Republican Senator Tim Scott, who is one of two African-American senators from South Carolina, agreed with Rubio.
“Any candidate who cannot immediately condemn a hate group like the KKK does not represent the Republican Party, and will not unite it.” Scott shared Rubio’s belief that this made him unelectable. “If Donald Trump can’t take a stand against the KKK, we cannot trust him to stand up for America against Putin, Iran or ISIS.”
Ted Cruz, another Republican running for president, tweeted:
“Really sad. @realDonaldTrump you’re better than this. We should all agree, racism is wrong, KKK is abhorrent.”
And another Republican presidential candidate, John Kasich, tweeted:
“Hate groups have no place in America. We are stronger together. End of story.”
Trump’s father may have connections to the Klan
An interesting report regarding Trump’s father has been uncovered. It shows that Donald may know more about the group than he is letting on. In 1927, a brawl led by the KKK took place in New York. 1,000 Klansmen clad in their white robes marched down a neighborhood and clashed with the police. Seven men were arrested – and one of them was Fred Trump, Donald’s father. The article did not reveal to what extent he was involved in the brawl. In an interview, Donald denied that the arrest ever took place.
“He was never arrested. He has nothing to do with this. This never happened. This is nonsense and it never happened….It’s a completely false, ridiculous story. He was never there! It never happened. Never took place,” he exclaimed.
BoingBoing.net, the site that released the old article, made it clear that “this is not proof that Trump senior…was a member of the Ku Klux Klan or even in attendance at the event.” Though the site noted that the seven men who were arrested all shared the same lawyers, “it’s conceivable that he may have been an innocent bystander, falsely named, or otherwise the victim of mistaken identity during or following a chaotic event.” However, this is not the only event Trump Senior was accused of racism in his life. An article published by Village Voice in 1979 reported that the Trumps were hit with a civil rights suit; a rental agent alleged that Fred Trump told him not to rent to black tenants and to encourage existing ones to leave.