Trump Rejects White Supremacist Duke's Comments: 'Anti-Semitism Has No Place in Our Society'

Former KKK leader blamed Republican Jews for attempting to block Trump's nomination, prompting ADL to urge Trump to disavow statement.

Donald Trump talks to reporters just before casting his ballot in New York, April 19, 2016.
Seth Wenig, AP

This article was originally published on Jewish Insider.

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, on Thursday disavowed anti-Semitic comments made by white supremacist leader David Duke, saying, ”Anti-Semitism has no place in our society.”

American Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke.
Wikipedia

On Wednesday, Duke blamed Republican Jews for attempting to block Trump from becoming the nominee during his radio program. “I think these Jewish extremists have made a terribly crazy miscalculation because all they’re going to be doing by doing a ‘Never Trump’ movement is exposing their alien, their anti-American, anti-American majoritya position. They’re going to push people more into an awareness that the neocons are the problem, that these Jewish supremacists who control our country are the real problem, and the reason why America is not great.”

Earlier Thursday, the Anti-Defamation League called on Trump to denounce recent anti-Semitic comments by Duke and a barrage of anti-Semitic comments by some of Trump’s supporters on social media. “David Duke’s latest remarks — smearing Jews and Jewish Republicans specifically — are as unsurprising as they are hateful,” Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO, said in a statement. “The onus is now on Donald Trump to make unequivocally clear he rejects those sentiments and that there is no room for Duke and anti-Semitism in his campaign and in society.”

“Mr. Trump can and should speak up now. If not, his silence will speak volumes,” added Greenblatt.

In a statement first published by the NY Times on Thursday, Trump said he “totally disavows” Duke comments about “Jewish extremists.”

“Anti-Semitism has no place our society, which needs to be united, not divided,” said Trump.

The ADL welcomed Trump's statement. “While no one should associate Mr. Trump’s own views with David Duke’s hatred, it is vital for political leaders to use their bully pulpit to speak out against bigotry,” ADL's Greenblatt said in a follow-up statement. “We think it is important that Mr. Trump denounced the anti-Semitism of David Duke and has made clear that he disavows anti-Semitism.”

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