Donald Trump ‘Disavows’ David Duke’s Remarks on ‘Jewish Extremists’
In response to calls from the Anti-Defamation League, Donald J. Trump recently said that he “disavows” comments by David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader, about “Jewish extremists” who opposed his candidacy.
It is the latest instance of Mr. Duke praising Mr. Trump, who was condemned by politicians across the spectrum months ago for refusing to explicitly disavow Mr. Duke, a white supremacist who has exalted the the Manhattan businessman’s political rise. Mr. Trump has previously rebutted the criticisms by saying he had disavowed Mr. Duke on other occasions.
“Jewish chutzpah knows no bounds,” Mr. Duke said on his radio program, excoriating some of the donors involved in the “Stop Trump” movement. Those donors include the billionaire financier Paul Singer, a Jew for whom Israel’s security is a primary focus in determining the candidates he backs.
“I think these Jewish extremists have made a terribly crazy miscalculation because all they’re really going to be doing by doing the ‘Never Trump’ movement is exposing their alien, their anti-American-majority position to all the Republicans,” Mr. Duke said. “And they’re going to push people more into awareness that the neo-cons are the problem, that these Jewish supremacists who control our country are the real problem and the reason why America is not great.”
Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement that “David Duke’s latest remarks – smearing Jews and Jewish Republicans specifically – are as unsurprising as they are hateful.”
“The onus is now on Donald Trump to make unequivocally clear he rejects those sentiments and that there is no room for Duke and anti-Semitism in his campaign and in society,” he said. “Mr. Trump can and should speak up now. If not, his silence will speak volumes.”
Later Thursday, Mr. Trump said in a statement that he “totally disavows” Mr. Duke’s remarks.
“Antisemitism has no place our society, which needs to be united, not divided,” said Mr. Trump, who has been accused of using overtly racial appeals to motivate his largely white, working-class political base.
The Anti-Defamation League has criticized Mr. Trump before, and has redirected his previous donations to the group because of his remarks about Muslims and others. Mr. Trump has often cited his ties to the Jewish community, noting, for instance, that his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is an Orthodox Jew, and that his daughter, Ivanka, converted to Judaism.