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Trump Refuses to Reject White Supremacist Support, Retweets Mussolini Quote

Submitted by on February 28, 2016 – 11:16 amNo Comment

GOP frontrunner Donald Trump this morning refused to reject the support of prominent white nationalist David Duke and the Klu Klux Klan, until he had learned more about the people and organizations in question. Around the same time, Trump defended his use of a quotation from Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini.

“Just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK?” Trump told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

“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.”

When Tapper asked more broadly about white supremacist groups and the Klan specifically, Trump continued to sidestep the question, saying he wanted a list of groups to research.

Duke was one of the most prominent white nationalists in the US  during the mid and late 20th century, his name synonymous with the movement. He was Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Klu Klux Klan, and served as a congressman from Louisiana, and has made several unsuccessful presidential runs. Like many early- and mid-century Southern white supremacists, he began his life as a Democrat, but is now a Republican. He now lives in relative obscurity in Louisiana and Austria.

Around the same time, Trump retweeted the phrase “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep,” which had been tweeted at him by a satirical account which pairs Trump’s #MakeAmericaGreatAgain hashtag with quotes from the Italian dictator. The account is called @ilduce2016, referring to Mussolini’s nickname.

“It’s a very good quote, it’s a very interesting quote. I know who said it, but what difference does it make whether it’s Mussolini or somebody else?” said Trump on Sunday’s Meet the Press.

When pressed if he wanted to be associated with fascist quotes, he said he wants to be associated “with interesting quotes.”

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