White supremacist David Duke praised President Donald Trump for his latest comments on the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. “Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about #Charlottesville & condemn the leftist terrorists in BLM/Antifa,” Duke wrote on Twitter.
Duke was referring to Trump’s new comments on Tuesday, when he again suggested that both sides were to blame for the violence at a rally organized by white supremacists and neo-Nazis. “What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right?” Trump asked a reporter. Earlier in the press conference, Trump said he didn’t know Duke attended the rally.
“OK, but what about the alt-left that came charging at them?” Trump asked. “What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt? Let me ask you this, what about the fact they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do.”
Trump also said that there were “very fine people on both sides.”
Duke’s tweet thanks Trump for condemning the “leftist terrorists” in the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as “Antifa.” As CNN notes, “Antifa” refers to “anti-fascists” and their members believe in far left policies but do not agree with the Democratic platform.
Duke attended the Charlottesville rally on Saturday, where one counter-protester was killed when a car drove into a crowd of counter-protesters. In a video that went viral, Duke told a reporter that the rally was a “turning point” and they are “determined to take our country back” and are “going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump.”
He also posted a 46-minute video, seen below, in which he discussed Trump’s Monday statement, in which Trump did condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
Trump’s first statement on Charlottesville, in which he said there was violence “on many sides,” was praised by the alt-right because it didn’t specifically condemn white supremacists. On Monday, he disavowed the KKK, neo-Nazis and “other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”
Duke was so inspired by Trump’s campaign last year that he ran his own campaign for the Louisiana U.S. Senate seat. Duke is a former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1989 to 1992. When he endorsed Trump for president, Trump famously failed to disavow his support right away. Trump finally disavowed Duke’s support in March 2016, but that didn’t stop Duke from showing his support.
“David Duke is a bad person, who I disavowed on numerous occasions over the years,” Trump told Morning Joe. “I disavowed him. I disavowed the KKK… Do you want me to do it again for the 12th time? I disavowed him in the past, I disavow him now.”