Trump Declines to Disavow David Duke and the KKK — But Only on Sunday
Feb 29, 2016
RUSH: Everybody is stunned over Trump. Nobody understands how Trump is still breathing. Nobody understands how Trump’s still pulling this off. You wouldn’t believe the theories that I’ve received from people sending me notes telling me what they think is really going on. And I guess the latest brouhaha with Trump is, he was on CNN with Jake Tapper yesterday, and he tried to act like he didn’t know who David Duke was, and he would not denounce David Duke nor would he denounce the Ku Klux Klan. Yet he had done so on previous occasions. He used to be in the Reform Party.
Now, the Reform Party was the offshoot of Ross Perot’s 1992 presidential effort, although Perot wasn’t part of it. Buchanan became the titular head, and Trump’s out there insulting Buchanan. He said he left the Reform Party because Buchanan’s a neo-Nazi had David Duke and the KKK in it. He said that’s not the company he wanted to keep. So he was on record as having denounced Duke and having denounced the Klan and wanting nothing to do with ’em.
And so the Jacob Tapper CNN Sunday show comes and Trump hems and haws and, what’s going on? I just have to tell you, anybody else, that would have done ’em in, no matter what they had said before. No matter how many times they had denounced Duke or the Klan, if you go on CNN Sunday, can you imagine, forget that it’s Trump and make it Romney. Romney’s on Jake Tapper’s show yesterday and he says, “I understand that David Duke’s endorsed you, Governor Romney, and he’s a Klan member and so forth”, and imagine Romney hemming and hawing and saying, “Well, I really don’t know who that is.” Romney’d be gone.
I mean, that would be it. On top of all the other stuff they had about Romney, you know, not caring when the wife of a male employee of his passed away or didn’t care enough about the dog, put it on the roof of the station wagon, family vacation or whatever. But Trump survives it, and then they go to the previous episodes where he has denounced Duke and the KKK and they’re scratching their heads, “Why wouldn’t he do it on Jake Tapper’s show?”
Everybody’s busting their head trying to figure out why wouldn’t he denounce. Oh, no, no. Had a bad earpiece, wasn’t sure what he was being asked, because when the Jake Tapper — this is key — when the Jake Tapper show ended, then Trump went out there started denouncing. He denounced on Twitter. He denounced everywhere else. By the way, you know Trump doesn’t use e-mail. He has never used e-mail. And people are curious, why don’t you use e-mail? You tweet all the time. You post on Facebook, Instagram. Why not e-mail?
And Trump said it’s a different ball of wax. He said half the people I know have been indicted ’cause of what they wrote in e-mails. They put down stuff in these e-mails, they sent it back and forth, law enforcement gets hold of it, and that’s it, that’s his answer for not e-mailing. It’s not that he doesn’t like it technologically, it’s not that he doesn’t know how. He just says that he’s had friends that have been indicted for what they’ve trafficked in content-wise in e-mails.
But there has to be a reason that Trump, on the actual show with Jake Tapper, hems and haws and acts like he doesn’t know who Duke is and the Klan and (imitating Trump) Well, I need to investigate. I never heard of the group. You need to send me a list.” And Jake says okay, I’ll send you the list, but I’m just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan. “Well, you know, there’s a lot of different people in these groups, and I gotta research it.”
Let me throw a theory out there to you. The Sunday shows have, amazingly still, their own separate and distinct stature. What is said on a Sunday show is treated differently and may be different in terms of its weight than what is said in a little sound bite that’s part of the nightly news, for example, or part of a guest appearance on a cable news show during the evening. A Sunday show, that’s stature, by reputation.
A Sunday show is serious, no fooling around. It’s like “for the record,” what you say on the Sunday show. And it could well be that Trump thinks of it that way and just didn’t want the quote, did not want any sound bite from the Sunday show one way or the other because maybe Trump’s nervous. Maybe he’s nervous after that debate. Maybe he’s worried. The polls don’t indicate it. Maybe he’s worried that Cruz and Rubio are gaining on him, and he doesn’t want to tick off anybody that might vote for him.
Hey, my speculation’s as good as anybody else’s, because I can think of no reason that he would purposely dodge, when he’s not dodged it before. I think about it being on a Sunday show, and that having more weight, more stature, something about it being these Sunday shows are TV shows of record, as opposed to your average cable news show, which happens every day or every night.
Now, there’s a CNN poll out that shows Trump at 49%, and everybody is heralding and shouting about this poll and concluding, “That’s it, I mean, for God sake, it’s over.” Do you know what the sample size of this poll is? Three hundred and six registered Republicans and a hundred some odd people that lean Republican. You got a sample of fewer than 500, I think. I didn’t see where the margin of error is, but that’s an awfully small sample here, compared to other polls.
RUSH: Yeah, the margin of error on that CNN poll’s 5%. Five percent in the CNN poll that shows Trump at 49. You got these establishment Republican types, and they’re out there saying, “Don’t worry, Trump’s got a ceiling. He’s never gonna get above 35%. That’s why he’s destined to lose everything. He’s never gonna get above 30. Look at his negatives, disapprovals are sky-high, the rest of the country hates Trump.” That’s never made sense to me.
Could somebody explain to me how the guy with the biggest negatives is winning everything? And if it’s true, then there’s still an explanation for it, which I think I could come up with if I dug deeply enough into it.
RUSH: Here’s Trump on State of the Union. We talked about this earlier. Jacob Tapper: “Will you unequivocally condemn David Duke and say that you don’t want his votes or that of other white supremacists in this election?”
TRUMP: I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists, and so you’re asking me a question that I’m supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about. I have to look at the group. I mean, I don’t know what group you’re talking about. You wouldn’t want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about. I’d have to look. If you would send me a list of groups I will do research on them and certainly I would disavow if I thought there was something wrong.
TAPPER: (crosstalk) But… But… Ku Klux Klan?
TRUMP: You may have groups in there that are totally fine and it would be totally unfair so give me a list of groups.
RUSH: Well, Jake Tapper was (stammering), “The Klan! For crying out loud, the Ku Klux Klan and David Duke!” So Trump is now saying he had a lousy earpiece. “Donald Trump on Monday,” this is from TheHill.com, blamed a poor earpiece for sparking a misunderstanding over white nationalist David Duke’s support of the GOP presidential front-runner. ‘I’m sitting in a house in Florida with a very bad earpiece they gave me,’ [Trump] told hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s ‘Today’ show.
“‘I sit down and I have a lousy earpiece provided by them,’ Trump continued. ‘You could hardly hear what [Tapper] was saying. ‘What I heard was “various groups.” I have no problem disavowing groups, but I’d at least like to know who they are. It’d be very unfair disavowing a group if they shouldn’t be disavowed.'” But in this sound bite, Trump says, “I know nothing about David Duke.” So you heard that. I know, the Trumpists are gonna be all over me here. This is why I don’t endorse, folks. There’s nothing to win.
So I mentioned that Trump was on the Today show with Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie. She had a question: “[Y]ou were asked about David Duke, former grand wizard of the KKK. You said three times in this interview, ‘I don’t know who David Duke is,’ and you refused to disavow or distance yourself from him. Now, a lot of people are scratching their heads over that. Because number one, you disavowed David Duke two days prior. Why are you pretending that you were acting as though you don’t know who this person is? Why not disavow David Duke, disavow the KKK? What’s going on?”
TRUMP: I know who he is, but I never met David Duke. How many times do I have to continue to disavow people? And the question was asked about David Duke and various groups, and I don’t know who the groups are. I’m sitting in a house in Florida with a very bad earpiece that they gave me, and you can hardly hear what he was saying. But what I heard was “various groups,” and I don’t mind disavowing anybody. And I disavowed David Duke. And I disavowed him the day before at a major news conference. I have no problem with disavowing groups, but I’d at least like to know who they are. I disavowed David Duke all weekend long — on Facebook, on Twitter — and obviously it’s never enough.
RUSH: Okay, folks, I’m telling you: This is all true, and I’m going back to why he disavows them on Friday, he disavows ’em on Saturday, he disavows them today, but he won’t disavow them on Jake Tapper’s CNN Sunday show. And here he’s admitting, he’s disavowed it every day. “I disavowed David Duke. And I disavowed him the day before at a major news conference. I have no problem with disavowing groups, but I’d at least like to know who they are. I disavowed David Duke all weekend long — on Facebook, on Twitter…”
But why not on the CNN Sunday show?
Oh, that’s right. He had a crappy earpiece. I’m sorry. That’s right.
I’m telling you: There’s a reason why he chose not to disavow on that show, and I think it’s wrapped around the fact that it’s a Sunday show. Now, you can say, “Rush what does it matter? Because all these other disavowals are everywhere. So it’s not as though he could hide the disavowal by not making it on Sunday. Because all these places, Twitter, he’s disavowing it everywhere.” Yes, that’s true.
But Twitter does not carry the weight of a Sunday show appearance. Can we agree? Would you agree? Facebook doesn’t carry the weight? Would you would you agree that a campaign appearance in — anywhere in Alabama does not have the weight of a Sunday show? (interruption) I’m just asking. I’m just like you, I’m trying to figure this out. (interruption) You want to stick with the crappy hearing piece? Okay. Well, you stick with the crappy hearing piece.
RUSH: Look, I know. The Democrats never have to disavow anybody. They never had to disavow Sheets Byrd. I mean, the Democrat Party actually had a KKK member as a ranking, leading Democrat in the Senate, Robert “Sheets” Byrd. He was a Grand Kleagle, which meant that he was a leading recruiter back in the day. They never have to disavow Calypso Louie Farrakhan. They never have to disallow Al Sharpton. They’re never made to disallow anything, and they’ve got Looney Tunes creeps saying some of the most outrageous, crazy things all over this country, and they never are forced to disavow.
I’m sympathetic to Trump. He did disavow Duke and all these guys several times. He left the Reform Party way back when because of Duke and the Ku Klux Klan. But I’m just… There is a reason why he chose not to do so on Sunday. By the way, you know, the Republican establishment is discombobulated over the Christie endorsement of Trump. Nikki Haley can’t believe it. And the Jeff Sessions endorsement has kind of shaken up some others. I think these endorsements of Trump have been in the works for a while. I don’t think they just happened. I think more things that happen in politics have a long history of being in the works before they are actually announced.
RUSH: Back to the audio sound bites. Jeffrey Lord, who is a writer at the American Spectator, was on CNN. They’ve hired him to do commentary. They’ve got a conservative there. CNN’s actually hired a conservative to do analysis and commentary, and he was on their New Day show today. John Berman was hosting and they were talking about Trump and the Klan and David Duke. And Berman said, “I want to know your reaction. You watched his interview with Jake Tapper not once, not twice, three times Trump was given an opportunity to just say, ‘I disavow David Duke, KKK, bad,’ he didn’t do it.
LORD: This is respectfully typical of what Rush Limbaugh calls the Drive-By Media. They make up some sort of, quote, unquote, controversy about something that isn’t really a controversy at all and then drive off. The sort of undercurrent here is that Donald Trump is playing for the white supremacy vote, which is just BS. It simply isn’t true. I mean, I don’t know what to say, but if we’re gonna have a conversation about race, then we should turn it back on the Democrat Party. You know, they still haven’t apologized for slavery after 151 years. I think that’s pretty basic. Why don’t we ask them that? Where is Debbie Wasserman Schultz? Where’s President Obama? Hello?
RUSH: Right. And the CNN people I guarantee you have never heard this. “What do you mean, the Democrats apologize for slavery? What are you talking about, the Democrats?” That has to be a foreign language to them. They have never heard anybody with that point of view. And this next sound bite illustrates it.
LORD: When Ronald Reagan ran for governor of California, the press kept trying to get him to renounce the John Birch Society, and finally Reagan’s answer was, “I am not endorsing them; they are endorsing me. I have nothing to do with them.” He didn’t play the game. Donald Trump isn’t playing the game, although he certainly denounced him. David Duke is a hard-core leftist. He’s an anti-Semite. The Ku Klux Klan is a function of the left. It was the military arm of the Democratic Party. Hello. I mean, Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law are Jewish. David Duke is an anti-Semite, for heaven’s sakes. I mean, this is ridiculous.
RUSH: The person you heard say “left” was Margaret Hoover who, I think if I’m not mistaken, is the granddaughter of Herbert Hoover or great granddaughter of Herbert Hoover, I’m not sure which. But she is a, quote, unquote, Republican strategist, and this was the first time she had ever heard it explained that the Klan was a leftist organization. People at CNN think the Klan is far right, uber-right. They’re not. The Klan, Jeffrey’s right, they were the military of the Democrat Party back in those days. They were the armed forces of the Democrat Party, the segregationist South.
For crying out loud, do I need to give you the names? J. William Fulbright, Lester Maddox, George Wallace. Who are all these people? They’re all Democrats! But Lord’s point here is that how many times are you gonna ask the guy to denounce when he already has. This is like the Drive-Bys. They drive by, they stir up a controversy, and they create a mess, and they leave the mess for others to clean up, while they go on down the road,ready to do it all over again with something else and somebody else.