The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is providing information on extremists and hate groups to all of the presidential candidates, including Donald Trump, who said in an interview Sunday with CNN’s Jake Tapper indicated he did not know anything about notorious former Klansman and racist hatemonger David Duke. Last week, Duke endorsed Trump’s candidacy for president.
“David Duke is a notorious anti-Semite and racist and his name is synonymous with bigotry,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL’s CEO. “Duke is a perennial candidate for elected office and perhaps America’s best known racist and anti-Semite. He is a former Imperial Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. His message is racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-American to its very core, and he’s clearly exploiting Mr. Trump’s candidacy to get publicity for himself and his hateful ideas.”
In response to Mr. Trump’s remarks, ADL’s Center on Extremism, which monitors and exposes extremists and hate groups, is providing for the public at large, including the Trump campaign, information about extremists so that all candidates can be fully aware of these individuals and have a more complete picture when determining whose endorsements they should accept or reject.
“The last thing we want is for white supremacists to use this campaign to mainstream their bigotry,” Mr. Greenblatt said. “It is imperative for elected leaders and political candidates like Mr. Trump and others in the public eye to disavow haters such as Duke and the other white supremacists who have endorsed his candidacy. By not disavowing their racism and hatred, Trump gives them and their views a degree of legitimacy. Even if it is unintentional on his part, he allows them to feel that they are reaching mainstream America with their message of intolerance.”
ADL’s Center on Extremism has long followed David Duke’s activities. The center has produced several online backgrounders about him and various white supremacist organizations he’s led over the years. These items are available for the public.
A 501(c) 3 organization, ADL does not support or oppose political candidates for office.