Trump earns support from former KKK leader David Duke a second time

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In recent weeks, Trump has defended Confederate memorials and denounced Black Lives Matter as a 'symbol of hate.'

Former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke formally backed Donald Trump's 2020 reelection on Wednesday. He also demanded that Fox News host Tucker Carlson replace Vice President Mike Pence on the ticket.

"President Trump! You have one last chance to turn the tables, win this election and save America -- and yourself ! Nominate Tucker Carlson for Vice President. This would energize your campaign beyond belief. You can replace Zio NeoCon warmonger Pompeo with Pence as Sec. of State!" he tweeted.

"Trump & Tucker is the only way to stop the commie Bolsheviks! It is the only path to beat them! #TrumpTucker2020," he added minutes later.

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The White House did not immediately respond to an inquiry about Duke's tweets.

In February 2016, Duke, a white nationalist, told his supporters that voting against Donald Trump was "really treason to your heritage."

"I'm not saying I endorse everything about Trump," he explained. "In fact, I haven't formally endorsed him. But I do support his candidacy, and I support voting for him as a strategic action. I hope he does everything we hope he will do."

Trump disavowed the endorsement initially, but when asked about the endorsement in a CNN interview that week, Trump refused to condemn him. "I don't know anything about David Duke. I don't know what you're even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacist. I don't know."

Trump said he would not condemn "a group that I know nothing about."

But Trump was feigning ignorance. In 2000, after deciding not to proceed with a presidential bid on the Reform Party ticket, he expressly blamed Duke and others for his decision not to run.

"As you know, the Reform Party has got some pretty big problems," he told a news outlet at the time. "Not the least of which is Pat Buchanan, David Duke, [Lenora] Fulani, and it's a problem."

Several days after he denied knowledge of Duke to CNN in 2016, Trump said on MSNBC: "David Duke is a bad person, who I disavowed on numerous occasions over the years... I disavowed him. I disavowed the KKK. Do you want me to do it again for the 12th time? I disavowed him in the past, I disavow him now."

Since that time, Trump has frequently supported white nationalist priorities.

In 2017, he defended white supremacists after a deadly clash with counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. "You also had people that were very fine people on both sides," he said of the Unite the Right rally.

In 2018, he called a caravan of migrants seeking asylum in America "an invasion."

In recent weeks, Trump has defended Confederate memorials, refused to change the names of military bases named for Confederate generals, denounced Black Lives Matter as a "symbol of hate," and criticized NASCAR for banning the Confederate flag from its events.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.