On CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper, Tapper asked Donald Trump about the endorsement he received from David Duke and the KKK, citing the Anti-Defamation League’s call to Trump to denounce the endorsement. Donald Trump’s response is the most Donald Trump response possible.
TAPPER: Will you, unequivocally, condemn David Duke and say that you don’t want his vote or that of any white supremacists during this election?
TRUMP: Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke, okay? I don’t even know anything about what you’re even talk about with, uh, white supremacy or white supremacists. I don’t know, I mean, 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.
TAPPER: But, I guess the question from the Anti-Defamation League is, even if you don’t know about their endorsement, there are these groups and individuals endorsing you, would you just say, unequivocally, you condemn them and you don’t want their support?
TRUMP: 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 would do research on them and certainly I would disavow if I thought there was something wrong.
TAPPER: The Ku Klux Klan?
TRUMP: But you may have groups in there that are totally fine and it would be totally unfair, so give me a list of the groups and I’ll let you know.
TAPPER: Okay. I mean, I’m just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan.
TRUMP: I mean, 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. I just don’t know anything about him.
Even if he doesn’t know David Duke, Donald Trump never once actually acknowledge the “Ku Klux Klan” parts of the question. I admit that Duke may not be as well known around the U.S. as the media would like (here in Louisiana, I almost had a spit take watching this interview, but, then again, Louisiana!), but to not even acknowledge the Klan when asked about them? To claim you don’t know anything about white supremacists?
Behold, my friends, a Donald Trump who is trying like hell not to alienate any support and is thus seen as allowing white supremacist groups and their ilk to be a part of his base. If you recall his rather dismissive “I disavow him, okay?” when asked about Duke two days ago, it seems like he was then trying to push aside any negatives and focus on his heavy-hitting endorsement from Chris Christie. Now it seems like he’s trying to not alienate anyone.
P.S. Jake Tapper looks stunned that someone would not disavow the Klan, and rightfully so. Even the best journalists falter in the face such stupidity.