MSNBC host Joe Scarborough called Donald Trump’s inability to disavow former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke and white supremacist group support “disqualifying” Monday morning.
Trump pretended to not know who Duke was on Sunday and said he would have to do “research” into groups like the Ku Klux Klan about whether to condemn their support. The KKK is one of the nation’s most well-known hate organizations.
Scarborough, who has allowed Trump to phone into his show numerous times in the election cycle and has been accused of being overly cozy with the candidate, sounded disgusted after the clip of Trump played on Morning Joe.
“That’s disqualifying right there,” Scarborough said. “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 is … this isn’t buying him a single vote. Is he really so stupid that he think southerners aren’t offended by the Ku Klux Klan and David Duke?”
Willie Geist noted it was “hard to imagine an easier political question.” The two said Trump’s comments could be placed in a television ad during the general election and be devastating to his chances.
CNN host Jake Tapper asked Trump multiple times about white supremacist support Sunday morning, but Trump wouldn’t directly reject it, even though he’d mentioned days earlier he did disavow Duke.
“Well just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke. OK? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists,” Trump said. “So, I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know, did he endorse me, or what’s going on? Because, you know, I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists. And so, you’re asking me a question that I’m supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.”
Co-host Mika Brzezinski, who sounded crestfallen as she read out the news of Trump’s remarks, said there were ties between Trump’s dodging and his call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.