The scandal around House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is not going away.
“You have a long line of politicians who go to see Obama. Now, Scalise is supposed to be a bad guy because he may have come to our meeting he may not have come to our meeting or whatever,” David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, said on his radio program on Friday.
“He certainly did, like most Republicans in my state and elsewhere, and most Democrats in the South and certainly many around the country, he echoed a lot of my ideology and my policies–no question about it,” Duke added.
Scalise has come under fire after it was revealed that in 2002 he spoke to a group organized by Duke’s former campaign manager Kenneth Knight. While Scalise previously admitted to and apologized for speaking to the conference of Duke’s group, EURO, Knight has since said Scalise actually spoke to a different group in the same venue. But Scalise, according to interviews both Knight and Duke conducted with the Washington Post, had a long time relationship with Knight. That apparently included discussing issues important to Duke. And Knight, six years after that 2002 event, donated $1,000 to Scalise’s 2008 U.S. congressional bid and phone banked for his campaign.
Scalise also, according to liberal columnist Stephanie Grace, identified himself to her nearly two decades ago during his political beginnings as “David Duke without the baggage.”
Both 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and nationally syndicated radio host Mark Levin honed in on further questions about Scalise in concurrent Facebook posts on Friday, ripping him for associating with circles connected to David Duke.
Duke went on, during this Friday radio show, to rail against “Jewish banks” including Goldman Sachs, and supposed Jewish control over everything in life:
The biggest problem is this zio-Globalism that’s trying to regiment and suppress and oppress all of humanity, except for one sector of humanity. These international Jewish banks like Goldman Sachs who not only robbed and destroyed millions of lives with their trillion dollar theft during the last mortgage meltdown—we can prove that. If they weren’t punished because of this Jewish tribalist control over the “judiciary,” which is a good word, it’s pretty accurate frankly, and their control over the media and their control over politics. After they stole a trillion dollars and ruined millions of lives, these same Zio-Media, want conflicted societies. They want African-Americans hating European-Americans. They want European-Americans, at least a portion of them, hating African-Americans. Anything that they can do so people cannot see the real rulers.
Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy have issued statements defending Scalise about the 2002 event. But neither of them nor Scalise himself have addressed Scalise’s longtime relationship with Knight.
Meanwhile, Boehner faces a mutiny from within his conference as conservatives are attempting to block his re-election as Speaker of the House at the beginning of the new Congress on Tuesday. It remains to be seen how that effort will turn out, though the establishment usually wins in such efforts, and it’s unclear at this time what role the Scalise scandal—and Boehner’s defense of Scalise—will have on it.
Scalise’s spokespersons Thomas Tatum and Moira Bagley haven’t responded to a request for comment about Duke’s latest comments.