*Despite the awareness many people have of the history surrounding David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan, Donald Trump looks to be going back and forth on disavowing Duke’s support for his campaign to become president.
According to Trump, he has no knowledge at all about the former KKK grand wizard.
“Just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK?” Tump told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” on Sunday. “I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So, I don’t know.”
As for the Klan, Trump was silent regarding the racist group as he was pressed three times on whether he would distance himself from it.
“I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists,” said Trump, who has been called on by the Anti-Defamation League to reject the support of Duke. “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.”
While Trump plays dumb on not knowing who Duke is, previous reports say otherwise.
In 2000, the real estate mogul was teasing a bid for the presidency as a Reform party candidate when he ended speculation while referencing Duke, noted paleoconservative Pat Buchanan and political activist Lenora Fulani.
“The Reform Party now includes a Klansman, Mr. Duke, a neo-Nazi, Mr. Buchanan, and a communist, Ms. Fulani. This is not company I wish to keep,” Trump said in a statement reported then by The New York Times.
After his “State of the Union” appearance, Trump brought up Duke’s name as he took to social media to respond to criticism and clarify what he said with tweeting an answer he made to a similar question about Duke’s support during a news conference on Friday.
“David Duke endorsed me? OK, all right. I disavow, OK?” Trump tweeted while voicing that he didn’t know about Duke’s endorsement.
Weighing in on the situation, Trump’s GOP presidential nomination rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, slammed his refusal to distance himself from Duke on Sunday.
As his interview with Tapper continued, the notion of broadly distancing himself from Duke and white supremacists was mentioned. Trump objected, saying he knew nothing about their support for his quest for the Republican presidential nomination.
“I have to look at the group. I mean, I don’t know what group you’re talking about,” Trump 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.”
“OK, Tapper replied. “I’m just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan here, but –”
“Honestly, I don’t know David Duke,” Trump emphasized. “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.”
Trump’s back and forth comes as he gears up for Super Tuesday, the day 12 states vote on him, Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to crown their choice of the best presidential nominee for their party.
To see Trump’s appearance on “State of the Union,” check out the video below: