Trump Repudiates David Duke’s Senate Candidacy

Melanie Arter | July 25, 2016 | 11:17am EDT
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Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke talks to the media at the Louisiana Secretary of State's office in Baton Rouge, La., on Friday, March 22, 2016. (AP Photo)

( – GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump ‘rebuked’ the Senate candidacy of former Ku Klux Klan member David Duke during an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press”
on Sunday.

“David Duke announced his Senate candidacy claiming your agenda for his own, or essentially saying, ‘Glad that you spoke out,’” NBC's Chuck Todd said.


“Are you ready, before you ask the question?” Trump asked.

“Newt Gingrich said, ‘Every Republican should repudiate this guy no matter what it takes--’” Todd said.

“I did, and I do. Are you ready? I want—” Trump said.

“Would you support a Democrat over David Duke if that was what was necessary to defeat him?” Todd asked.

“I guess, depending on who the Democrat, but the answer would be yes. Look, the answer is, as quick as you can say it. In fact, I went to answer you before you—” Trump responded. “Because last time with another person in your position, I did it very quickly, and they said, ‘He didn't do it fast enough.’ Rebuked. Is that okay? Rebuked, done.”

In a YouTube video last week, Duke said, “Thousands of special interest groups stand up for African-Americans, Mexican Americans, Jewish Americans, etc. The fact is that European Americans need at least one man in the United States, one man in Congress, who will defend their rights and heritage."

"I believe in equal rights for all and respect for all Americans. However, what makes me different is I also demand respect for the rights and the heritage of European Americans," Duke added.

In announcing his candidacy last week, Duke said he was “the first major candidate in modern times to promote the term and policy of ‘America First,” that Trump has now embraced. “We cannot have free trade without fair trade we must protect American jobs and businesses," Duke said, adding that he is “overjoyed” by Trump’s campaign.

"The New York Times admitted that my platform became the GOP mainstream and propelled Republican control of Congress," Duke said. "I'm overjoyed to see Donald Trump and most Americans embrace most of the issues that I've championed for years. My slogan remains 'America First.'"

As previously reported, Trump disavowed the KKK and Duke in March. A month before that, Trump was askedwhether he would condemn the racism of the KKK and say he did not want their vote or that of other white supremacists.

"Well, just so you understand, 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,” Trump said at the time. 

“I don't know, did he endorse me or what's going on, because, you know, 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,” Trump said in February.

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