Former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke’s support for Donald Trump, and the GOP presidential frontrunner’s initial refusal to condemn him, must be awkward news for Family Research Council president Tony Perkins.
Perkins previously served as a state lawmaker in Louisiana and unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate in 2002. His career was not without controversy: He spoke at least twice to the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens and reportedly “paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,500 for his mailing list” while working as the campaign manager for failed U.S. Senate candidate Woody Jenkins. “The Federal Election Commission fined the campaign Perkins ran $3,000 for attempting to hide the money paid to Duke,” reported The Nation.
While Perkins’ group, the Family Research Council, insisted that “Mr. Perkins profoundly opposes the racial views of Mr. Duke and was profoundly grieved to learn that Duke was a party to the company that had done work for the 1996 campaign,” that didn’t stop Perkins from speaking years later to the CCC, a group that aims to “oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called ‘affirmative action’ and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races.”
Which brings us to the Monday edition of Perkins’ “Washington Watch” radio show, where a caller who identified as a Cruz supporter said she wanted people to know that “Donald Trump is being backed by the Ku Klux Klan.”
Perkins told the caller he was “glad to hear” that Trump disavowed Duke and the Klan, noting that days later Trump had said that “he didn’t know who David Duke was.”
“Let me just say there’s no room for racism and hatred in our national politics of that sort, based upon those immutable characteristics of race,” Perkins said. “I hope he does disavow any type of support like that.”
While he is rightfully upset that Trump feigned ignorance about Duke, Perkins may want to refresh his memory about his own relationship with Duke and white nationalists.