Flashback: President Trump Blasted David Duke in 2000
August 14, 2017
Liberals spent much of the time on the Sunday talk shows blasting President Donald Trump for not being forceful enough in rejecting “white nationalism,” but a 17-year-old clip shows he’s long rejected the likes of David Duke.
During the Feb. 14, 2000, interview with “TODAY” host Matt Lauer, then-businessman Trump announced he would not be running for president after a six-month exploratory effort. He had been toying with a run as a member of the Reform Party, but backed off in part because the former KKK member had joined its ranks.
The party, he said, was falling apart:
The party is, as you know, self-destructing. Jesse [Ventura] has left, and that’s a problem. And so I will not be running …
[Y]ou’ve got David Duke just joined—a bigot, a racist, a problem—I mean, this is not exactly the people you want in your party. Buchanan’s a disaster as we’ve, you know, covered. Jesse’s a terrific guy who just left the party. And he, you know, it’s unfortunate, but he just left the Party. He’s going to be doing his Independence Party from Minnesota.
The quote has been used by a few liberal mainstream media outlets to suggest the president was lying when he said he didn’t know Duke, but there’s nothing in the interview to suggest he knows Duke, but rather only knows his reputation. This is yet another rehash of a well-worn attack used against the president during the 2016 campaign.