David Duke, a well-known white supremacist and former KKK leader, endorsed Donald Trump for the presidency last week on his radio show. He told listeners that it would be against their white heritage to vote for any candidate other than Trump and invoked not-so-subtle racist messages in calling for his fans to get out to the polls to vote for his favorite candidate. With good reason, this brought many to wonder whether Trump would be able to maintain his handed lead in the Republican race, seeing that an endorsement by a former leader of the Klan is hardly good publicity. All it would have taken for this to blow over would have been Trump publicly disavowing the endorsement – a presumably simple task for a man who may be sitting in the Oval Office in just a matter of months. Well, Trump did quite the opposite in refusing to reject the endorsement, and he is finding himself in a world of media trouble this morning.
When Jake Tapper asked Trump over the weekend about the endorsement from Duke, Trump merely said that he knew nothing about the former Klan leader. "Just so you understand, I don't know anything about David Duke, OK?" Tapper then pressed Trump on whether he would distance himself from the KKK and its messaging. In traditional Trump fashion, he entirely avoided the question and played the angle that he knew absolutely nothing about the situation. "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."
Joe Scarborough spoke about the matter this morning, predicting that this could very well be the end of Trump’s run. “That’s disqualifying right there. It’s breathtaking, that’s disqualifying right there. To say you don’t know about the Ku Klux Klan? You don’t know about David Duke?” he asked, palpably frustrated.
Scarborough could be right. This refusal to condemn a known white supremacist and one of the nation’s most heinous hate groups could cost Trump his standing in the Republican Party. However, given his ability to bounce back from media debacles in the past, it is also quite possible that Trump will suffer only slightly in the polls and then rebound in the upcoming primary elections.
Do you think Trump’s refusal to disavow Duke and the KKK will cost him the election?