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Former KKK leader David Duke thanks Trump for 'condemning leftist terrorists'

In a week when Mr Trump has been denounced for not distancing himself from white supremacists

Jeremy B. White
San Francisco
Tuesday 15 August 2017 22:47 BST
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Former leader of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke, seen here in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 22, 2016, kept up his praise for Donald Trump
Former leader of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke, seen here in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 22, 2016, kept up his praise for Donald Trump

While much of the Internet reacted with revulsion to Donald Trump's latest equivocation of the violence in Charlottesville, white supremacist leader David Duke praised the president for his "honesty and courage".

After Mr Trump said there was "blame on both sides" for a car plowing into counterprotestors outside a white supremacist rally, returning to an earlier stance that spurred widespread criticism, Mr Duke lauded Mr Trump in a tweet for rejecting "leftist terrorists."

Mr Duke has been an early and ardent supporter of Mr Trump, and his continued praise for the president underscored that association in a week when Mr Trump has twice declined to decisively condemn white supremacists.

The storm of censures that Mr Trump navigated this week conjured parallels to the presidential campaign, when Mr Trump similarly sparked anger for initially failing to reject Mr Duke. He eventually did disavow the former Ku Klux Klan leader.

White nationalist groups enthusiastically embraced Mr Trump's nativist message during the election, and his Mr Trump's has been accompanied by the ascendance of a loose "alt-right" ideology founded on recognition of America as a white, Christian nation.

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