Three times on Sunday morning, Donald Trump was given the chance to disavow the support his campaign is getting from white supremacist groups. And three times, he balked.
Appearing on CNN’s "State of the Union," Trump was pressed by host Jake Tapper to distance himself from David Duke, a former KKK leader who has supported Trump’s campaign and gone so far as to say that a vote against the businessman would be a "treason to your heritage."
Here was answer No. 1:
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. 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.
And when Tapper followed up, here was answer No. 2:
Well, I have to look at the group. 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. 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.
And when Tapper specified that he was talking about David Duke and the Klan, here was answer No. 3:
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.
And the idea that Trump would be unfamiliar with Duke’s support for his campaign is farcical. His candidacy has been a magnet for white supremacists for months now. Here is a piece about that very topic from November 2015. Here is one from December 2015. Here is one from January 2016. And here is one from a few days ago. Hell, here is one from August!
And then, there is this:
Trump, belatedly, tweeted a clip of himself disavowing Duke during a recent press conference.
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