Trump on Why He Didn’t Disavow David Duke on CNN: I Had a ‘Lousy Earpiece’
GUTHRIE: "You were asked about David duke, former grand wizard of the KKK. You refused to disavow or distance yourself from him and you said he didn’t know who he was. A lot of people are scratching their heads over that because number one you disavowed him two days prior. Why are you pretending that — acting as though you don’t know who this person is? Why not disavow David duke, disavow the KKK? What’s going on."
TRUMP: "Well, first of all, he talked about David duke and other groups. He talked about other groups.
GUTHRIE: "But you said three times “I don’t know who David Duke is.”
TRUMP: "Well, I know who he is but I never met David Duke so when you talk about it, I never met David Duke."
GUTHRIE: "But in 2000 you refused to run on the reform party because David Duke was a member of it."
TRUMP: "I disavowed David Duke at a major press conference and I’m saying to myself how many times do I have to disavow people? And the question was asked about David duke and various groups and I don’t know who the groups are. I said would you do me a favor and tell me the groups? He was unable to tell me that."
GUTHRIE: "He says “I’m just talking about David duke and the Ku Klux Klan here” and you said “Honestly, I don’t know David duke.”
TRUMP: "So let me tell you, 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 which is surprising because he was at the major news conference, CNN was at the major news conference and they heard me very easily disavow David duke. Now I go and I sit down again, I have a lousy ear piece that is provided by 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. It would be very fair to disavow a group, Matt, if the group shouldn’t be disavowed. I have know who the groups are. I disavowed David duke. If you look on Facebook right after that, I also disavowed David duke. When we looked at the question I disavowed David Duke. So I’ve disavowed David duke all weekend long, on Facebook, on Twitter."