Former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke spoke candidly about Donald Trump recently, saying the Republican presidential candidate speaks “a lot more radically” than he does.
Duke, who is also a former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, made the comments in an interview on December 17. As Buzzfeed reports, the interview is labeled “Fox Interview,” but it’s not clear by watching it who the interviewer is, or whether she works for Fox.
“As far as what I see, according to the candidates that are out there now, Republicans and Democrats, I think he’s head and shoulders right now above the rest,” Duke said of Trump in the interview. “I don’t agree with everything he says, he speaks a little more, actually he speaks a little more, a lot more radically than I talk. And I think that’s a positive and negative.”
Trump has been criticized for his rhetoric on the campaign trail — especially for his comments regarding Islam. Trump has called for a complete ban on Muslims coming into the U.S., and has said the country should “absolutely” register all Muslims in a database.
Trump’s treatment of the issue of race has also raised eyebrows — after a Black Lives Matter protester was beaten by Trump supporters at a rally for the presidential candidate, Trump defended the actions of his fans.
“Maybe he should have been roughed up,” he said of the protester. “It was disgusting what he was doing.”
Still, this rhetoric may be helping him with supporters: a November poll by CBS News found that 40 percent of Trump supporters in Iowa say they like the candidate because he “says things others are afraid to say.”
Duke, who’s classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as the “most recognizable figure of the American radical right, a neo-Nazi, longtime Klan leader and now international spokesman for Holocaust denial,” has been supportive of Trump in the past, though he hasn’t officially endorsed the candidate. In August, Duke said that Trump “understands the real sentiment of America.”
“Trump, he’s really going all out. He’s saying what no other Republicans have said, few conservatives say,” Duke said at the time.
Duke is the founding head of the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO), a white nationalist group that fights for “white civil rights.”