Donald Trump blamed a “lousy earpiece” provided by CNN for the reason he didn’t disavow support from former KKK grand wizard David Duke during an interview.
In an interview with Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer on NBC’s “Today” show on Monday, Trump said he has “no problem with disavowing groups but I’d at least like to know who they are. It would be very unfair to disavow a group, Matt, if the group shouldn’t be disavowed. “ (RELATED: Trump Refuses To Condemn David Duke, The KKK And ‘White Supremacist’ Supporters [VIDEO])
“Let’s talk about another issue that has bubbled up. And this is your comments on a CNN program where you were asked about David Duke, former grand wizard of the KKK. You said three times in this interview I don’t know who David Duke is, and you refused to disavow or distance yourself from him,” Guthrie said. “Now, a lot of people are scratching their heads over that. Because number one, you disavowed David Duke two days prior. Why are you pretending that you were acting as though you don’t know who this person is? Why not disavow David Duke, disavow the KKK? What’s going on?” (RELATED: Trump Disavows White Nationalists — ‘Nothing In This Country Shocks Me’ [VIDEO])
“Well first of all, [CNN Host Jake Tapper] talked about David Duke and other groups. He talked about other groups, okay,” Trump said. (RELATED: Rubio Rips Trump Over Refusal To Disavow Support From David Duke, KKK [VIDEO])
“Yeah, but you said three times I don’t know who David Duke is,” Guthrie shot back.
“Excuse me, excuse me — no, no. I know who he is, but I never met David Duke,” Trump claimed. “So when you talk about it, I never met David Duke.”
“But in 2000, you refused to run on the Reform Party’s platform because David Duke was a member of it,” Guthrie retorted.
Continuing his train of thought, Trump said, “A day before at a major press conference, and I’m saying to myself, how many times do I have continue to disavow people? And the question was asked about David Duke and various groups. And I don’t know who the groups are. I said, would you do me a favor and tell me the groups? He was unable to tell me that.”
“He says I’m just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan here. And you said, honestly, I don’t know David Duke,” Guthrie replied.
“OK so let me tell you, I’m sitting in a house in Florida with a very bad earpiece that they gave me,” Trump said. “And you can hardly hear what he was saying. But what I heard was various groups. And I don’t mind disavowing anybody. And I disavowed David Duke and I disavowed him the day before at a major news conference, which is surprising because he was at the major news conference. CNN was at the major news conference and they heard me very easily disavow David Duke.”
“Now I go and I sit down again, I have a lousy earpiece that is provided by them. And frankly, he talked about groups. He also talked about groups. And I have no problem with disavowing groups but I’d at least like to know who they are. It would be very unfair to disavow a group, Matt, if the group shouldn’t be disavowed. I have to know who the groups are. But I disavowed David Duke,” Trump insisted.
“Now, if you look on Facebook right after that, I also disavowed David Duke. When we looked at it, and looked at the question, I disavowed David Duke. So I disavowed David Duke all weekend long on Facebook, on Twitter and, obviously, it’s never enough. It’s ridiculous.”