David Duke, former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, has expressed his approval of President-Elect Donald Trump’s recent cabinet appointments, saying that they are examples of white people taking back their government.
After it was announced that Donald Trump would be naming Jeff Sessions his attorney general, Michael Flynn his assistant for national security affairs, and Mike Pompeo as director of the CIA, Duke tweeted to show his support, also praising the choice of Steve Bannon as senior adviser.
Jeff Sessions, whose appointment David Duke praised today, has been accused of racist behavior, and it was due to accusations of racism that his appointment to a district court position was not approved in the 1980s. Michael Flynn has retweeted anti-Semetic content and has said that fear of Muslims is rational.
And Steve Bannon, senior counselor to the president, is the executive chairman of Breitbart News, a hub of the fringe alt-right movement known for its racism and anti-Semitism.
David Duke endorsed Donald Trump during the Republican presidential primaries, and he says that he and Trump have the same message: white nationalism.
“He’s talking about it in a visceral way,” Duke said, according to TIME. “Donald Trump is talking implicitly. I’m talking explicitly.”
Trump famously refused to disavow David Duke in an interview with CNN after being told that Duke was a white nationalist and a former grand wizard of the Ku Klu Klan.
“Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK?” Trump said. “I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists.”
Trump had, in fact, spoken about David Duke in the past. In fact, he had already disavowed him prior to the CNN interview. When asked in August 2015 if he would repudiate David Duke, Trump said, “Sure, I would do that if it made you feel better. I would certainly repudiate.” Trump later blamed his answer in the CNN interview on a bad earpiece.