WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 (UPI) — Donald Trump’s campaign called the endorsement by a leading Ku Klux Klan publication “repulsive” and repudiated its support after it likened his “make America great again” slogan to America’s founding as a “white Christian Republic.”
The KKK publication The Crusader publicly endorsed Trump on Tuesday, making it the latest in a string of white nationalist groups to publicly back his campaign. The first was former KKK grand wizard David Duke, a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Louisiana. Trump also disavowed Duke’s support during the Republican primary, but was criticized by some for not disavowing it quickly or forcefully enough.
“While Trump wants to make America great again, we have to ask ourselves, ‘What made America great in the first place?’” the article states. “The short answer to that is simple. America was great not because of what our forefathers did — but because of who our forefathers were. America was founded as a White Christian Republic. And as a White Christian Republic it became great.”
Trump’s campaign responded in a statement Tuesday night, saying the KKK’s rhetoric has no place in his campaign.
“Mr. Trump and the campaign denounces hate in any form,” the campaign said in a statement. “This publication is repulsive and their views do not represent the tens of millions of Americans who are uniting behind our campaign.”
The Washington Post interviewed Pastor Thomas Robb, who is affiliated with the publication, who said the commentary was not meant as an explicit endorsement of Trump, but did state his support for several of Trump’s campaign promises.
“Overall, we do like his nationalist views and his words about shutting down the border to illegal aliens,” Robb said. “It’s not an endorsement because, like anybody, there’s things you disagree with. But he kind of reflects what’s happening throughout the world. There seems to be a surge of nationalism worldwide as nationals reclaim their borders.”
Trump’s campaign has repeatedly denied any involvement with the KKK or anti-Semitic groups. His candidacy has received support from the white nationalist group American Renaissance and national organizers of the Knights Party, a political front for the KKK.