In what can only be called a formal endorsement, despite a claim that it is not, former, grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and prominent white supremacist David Duke has thrown his full support behind Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
On his online radio show, Duke devoted a significant amount of airtime to discussing the successful primary wins that Donald Trump has amassed recently, moving forward with support of Trump first announced last summer, telling listeners to “get active” and “call the Republican Party … call Donald Trump’s headquarters, volunteer.” Duke assured his listeners that they will “meet people who are going to have the same kind of mindset that you have.”
Duke, who served as a Louisiana state representative for one term and unsuccessfully ran for the seats in both houses of Congess, compares the votes supporting Donald Trump to the same votes that resulted in his election, votes for Pat Buchanan, and votes for George Wallace.
Duke’s support centers on Trumps position on issues of immigration, national defense, and foreign policy –– issues Duke made his “chief campaign issues” he now claims are being adapted by Trump.
For those that hold such such beliefs, Duke's words of support for Donald Trump are powerful and carry a great deal of weight. His support of Trump is also a challenge to members of his audience. He told them that a vote for anyone but Trump amounts to treason to your heritage.
“Voting for these people, voting against Donald Trump, at this point, is really treason to your heritage,” Duke said on his radio program.
Support for Trump from the radical right is not limited to David Duke and his brand of Klan-inspired white supremacist ideology. Groups like the American Freedom Party, a political party established by racist skinheads, have also formally endorsed Trump. AFP has also established a super PAC that has funded robocalls pushed in many early primary states.
One such call contained a message from Jared Taylor, founder of the white supremacist magazine American Renaissance. In the recorded call, Taylor urges individuals to vote for Trump because “We don’t need Muslims. We need smart, well-educated white people who will assimilate to our culture. Vote Trump.” Taylor is also a spokesperson for a white nationalist organization, Council of Conservative Citizens, which Dylann Roof cited as reason for a rampage at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., that left nine people dead.
Trump’s campaign has not officially acknowledged or tried to distance itself from racist support and instead seems to have adopted a policy of deflection and misdirection. As Trump said of a donation from AFP leader William Daniel Johnson at an early campaign event in New Hampshire, “I would certainly return it if you think it is appropriate.”