Trump, claiming ignorance of David Duke, won’t reject ex-KKK head’s endorsement

Marcy Oster

Donald Trump speaking at a caucus night watch party at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Feb. 23, 2016. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Donald Trump speaking at a caucus night watch party in Las Vegas, Feb. 23, 2016. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Donald Trump refused to reject an endorsement by former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke, saying he was not familiar with the popular white supremacist.

“Just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK?” Trump said Sunday morning on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The show’s host, Jake Tapper, pressed Trump on white supremacists several times.

“I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists,” he said. “So I don’t know. 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.”


Trump also said: “You wouldn’t want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about. I’d have to look. If you would send me a list of the groups, I will do research on them and certainly I would disavow if I thought there was something wrong. You may have groups in there that are totally fine — it would be very unfair. So give me a list of the groups and I’ll let you know.”

On Friday, Trump had disavowed the endorsement, so it is not clear why he refused to do so on Sunday.

“Voting for these people, voting against Donald Trump at this point is really treason to your heritage,” Duke said on Feb. 24 on the  David Duke Radio Program. BuzzFeed News first reported the comments.

Meanwhile, far-right French leader Jean-Marie Le Pen tweeted his support for Trump on Sunday.

“If I was American I would vote for Donald Trump … may God protect him,” he tweeted.

Le Pen was kicked out of the National Front party he founded, which is now led by his daughter Marine, for his racist and xenophobic comments.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reported Friday that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has consulted foreign policy expert Lawrence Wilkerson, who was chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell and speculated in 2013 that Israel may have carried out chemical attacks in Syria.

Wilkerson told the Times on Friday that he was not trying to raise the world’s ire by suggesting during an interview with Current TV that Israel was involved in the attacks.

“I was just suggesting all the different people that could have been involved at a time when speculation was rampant,” Wilkerson said.

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