Donald Trump on Monday blamed a “very bad earpiece” for a CNN interview the day before in which he refused to disavow the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups.
CNN anchor Jake Tapper asked Trump, the Republican presidential frontrunner, three times Sunday if he would denounce the support of David Duke, the former KKK grand wizard.
In a Monday-morning interview with the “Today” show, Trump suggested he couldn’t properly hear the question.
“He talked about David Duke and other groups,” Trump said. “He talked about other groups, OK?”
“Today” co-anchor Savannah Guthrie pressed Trump, pointing out that he said three times in the CNN interview that he didn’t know who Duke was. (He actually said that he didn’t “know anything about” Duke and that he had never met him.)
“I know who he is, but I never met David Duke,” Trump said. “So when you talk about it, I never met David Duke.”
“How many times can you continue to disavow people?” Trump asked, adding that he disavowed Duke’s endorsement during a Friday press conference. Trump also said he asked Tapper which white-supremacist groups Tapper wanted him to disavow, but that Tapper was unable to elaborate.
Guthrie then noted that Trump was later asked about the KKK specifically, but still dodged the question.
“I’m sitting in a house in Florida with a very bad earpiece that they gave me and you could 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,” Trump said.
He continued complaining about the earpiece, saying, “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.”
Though Tapper did ask Trump about white supremacist groups generally, he also asked about the KKK specifically. Trump didn’t directly address the question.
“You may have groups in there that are totally fine and it would be very unfair. So give me a list of the groups, and I’ll let you know,” he told Tapper.
Tapper seemed somewhat perplexed.
“OK, I mean, I’m just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan here, but …” he said, trailing off and inviting Trump to comment.
“Honestly, I don’t know David Duke. I don’t believe I’ve ever met him. I’m pretty sure I didn’t meet him. And I just don’t know anything about him,” Trump said.
Watch the full “Today” interview below:
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