Former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke Prepares for U.S. Congressional Bid

Duke told the Daily Beast on Tuesday that he plans to challenge incumbent Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., saying he has 'very seriously set up an exploratory committee.'

David Duke, former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, during a debate with Joe Hicks in California, Sept. 25, 1996.
Brian Vander Brug/Los Angeles Times

White supremacist leader David Duke is gearing up to run for Congress, saying his decision was bolstered by the killing last week of five white Dallas policemen at the hands of a black gunman.

Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, told the Daily Beast on Tuesday that he plans to challenge incumbent Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., saying he has “very seriously set up an exploratory committee” and expects to make a decision “in a few days.” The ballot deadline is July 22.

Speaking about the Dallas killings, Duke said: “I don’t take any satisfaction in the fact that I was right, but I have been right. Unless European Americans stand up, they are going to lose everything they care about in this country.”

Duke has asserted publicly that Jews control the Federal Reserve Bank, the U.S. government and the media. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 1990 and for Louisiana governor in 1991, losing in a runoff election to Edwin Edwards.

He has endorsed Donald Trump for president and compared himself to the presumptive Republican nominee.

“I’ve said everything that Donald Trump is saying and more,” Duke said, according to the Daily Beast. “I think Trump is riding a wave of anti-establishment feeling that I’ve been nurturing for 25 years.”

In February, Duke endorsed Trump on his radio program, telling his listeners to volunteer for and vote for Trump.

In an interview days after the endorsement on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Trump told host Jake Tapper: “Just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists.”

Trump disavowed the endorsement hours after the “State of the Union” interview, for the second time in three days, after refusing to do so on the program.

Scalise, who has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2008 and is now the majority whip, reportedly once called himself “David Duke without the baggage.”