Another day, another self-made Donald Trump controversy.
On Sunday morning, the short-fingered reality TV star and current Republican Presidential favorite decided to test out a little theory. Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper, The Donald repeatedly refused to condemn or disavow former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, the KKK or white supremacy itself. Despite Tapper asking him about Duke, who had recently urged his supporters to vote for Trump, The Donald claimed he didn’t know who Duke was and that he needed to research the KKK and white supremacist groups more because he didn’t know anything about them.
Of course, this was all bullshit. Just two days prior to his CNN interview, the celebrity billionaire told reporters that he disavowed Duke. And in 2000, he distanced himself from the Reform Party specifically because of Duke, who he referred to as a “Klansman” and bigot. He later tried to save face on Twitter by saying he condemned the white nationalist.
However, the damage was done, and at least one very public supporter and enabler did his best to distance himself from Trump right away. In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Morning Joe co-host and extremely loud Trump cheerleader Joe Scarborough claimed that Donald’s “feigned ignorance” of Duke was disturbing, revealing that Trump feels his support from Southerners would go down if he railed against the KKK. Joe also stated that he wonders if this is how the party of Lincoln will finally die, considering that it is now inevitable that Trump will get the GOP nomination.
Scarborough repeated these concerns on Morning Joe, saying that Trump trying to be neutral when it came to the KKK is “disqualifying” when it comes to the presidency.
“That’s disqualifying right there. It’s breathtaking. That is disqualifying right there. To say you don’t know about the Ku Klux Klan? You don’t know about David Duke? And the most stunning thing, Willie Geist, is this isn’t buying him a single vote. I mean, is he really so stupid that he thinks southerners aren’t offended by the Ku Klux Klan and David Duke? Is he really so ignorant of southern voters that he thinks this is the way to their heart? To go neutral? To play Switzerland when you’re talking about the Klan? And to say he doesn’t know enough information about the Klan to condemn them? Exactly what does Donald Trump expect to learn in the next 24 hours about the Klan? I just don’t get it.”
Later on in the program, they brought up Trump’s Monday morning interview with NBC’s TODAY, where he ridiculously claimed he was dealing with a faulty earpiece during the CNN appearance. (TODAY host Savannah Guthrie literally rolled her eyes at this excuse, considering that he stated multiple times that he didn’t know Duke during that interview.) Joe and the rest of the panel weren’t buying it. Geist flat-out said you can’t blame an earpiece on any of it while Joe said it was apparent Trump believed he might lose votes if he said anything bad about the KKK.
It is nice to see Joe and Co. come around to the notion that Trump will be a disaster for this country and that his campaign is succeeding largely because he has fully embraced bigotry and racism to appeal to a certain kind of voter. But, it is far too late. This was apparent for months now, yet Mika and Joe played footsie with Trump the whole time, giving him tons of free airtime and lots of positive coverage. Now, the chickens have come home to roost, and they have blood on their hands.
You guys are partially responsible for this. You enabled him. You encouraged him. You laughed with him. You defended him. You gave him an open forum. Now, you want your viewers to think that this is the bridge too far when it comes to you and Donald. Sorry, but that ship sailed a long time ago. After the Muslim ban remarks, you continued to bring him on day after day while kissing up to him. The time to take a stand was then. You didn’t, and now we’re here.