Some two months before the general election, the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan is making robocalls in support of Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for President.
“Hi, this is David Duke,” begins the call. “I’m sorry I missed you. I’m running for U.S. Senate. I’ll tell the truth that no other candidate will dare say. Unless massive immigration is stopped now, we’ll be out-numbered and outvoted in our own nation. It’s happening..It’s time to stand up and vote for Donald Trump for president and vote for me David Duke for the U.S. Senate.”
It’s not the first time Duke expressed admiration for and tied himself to Trump. From Huffington Post:
Earlier this year, Duke encouraged his radio show listeners to volunteer for Trump’s campaign. He also praised Trump’s run for president, saying it’s “very, very important that [Trump] wins,” and expressed in his video announcement of his run for Senate how excited he was about Trump’s rise to power. Duke’s own website is littered with posts in support of Trump, and echoes many of the themes Trump has run on, such as a distrust of immigrants and anger towards the media.
Trump’s candidacy has made Duke and other white supremacists feel that they are no longer on the fringes of right-wing extremism. “I’ve said everything that Donald Trump is saying and more,” commented Duke last month, feeling emboldened enough to announce his attention to run for the US Senate just one day after Trump accepted the nomination for President.
Trump’s campaign released a statement to POLITICO disavowing the Duke robocall, but that sure wasn’t Trump’s initial reaction when first confronted about Duke’s support back in February. Trump refused to disavow the former KKK Grand Wizard three times, saying “I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK?”
Trump eventually said he didn’t want Duke’s support, but the alarm had already been sounded to white supremacists that they had a candidate in Trump. Not only has he continued to lift up their message via social media, but he’s even brought aboard Steve Bannon, who as the former executive chairman for Breitbart News, has spearheaded a website notorious for conspiracy theories and white nationalism.
Trump may say he’s disavowing support from white supremacists like Duke, but his actions say something else entirely.