Despite the fact that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump repeatedly and publicly disavowed any support from members of the Ku Klux Klan, the latest anti-Trump video released by Democratic rival Hillary Clinton alleges a strong connection between Trump and Klan members.
The video, which is just over one minute long, features an array of images and voice-overs designed to make the case that Trump is the candidate of those on the farthest and most violent fringe of the political spectrum’s right wing.
“The reason a lot of Klan members like Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes, we believe in,” a robed man, identified as the Imperial Wizard of the Rebel Brigade Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, says in the video.
It then includes an endorsement of Trump from former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke.
Later in the video, the attack widens to include Trump’s new campaign CEO, Steven Bannon, chairman of Breitbart News. The video features a CNN commentator saying Breitbart “has become a field day for the alt-right,” which it describes as “the sort of dressed-up-in-suits version of the neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements.”
In its reporting on the video, The Washington Post examined it from the framework of the Clinton campaign seeking to respond to Trump’s efforts to make inroads among black voters.
The Trump campaign issued a statement on the video.
“Hillary Clinton and her campaign went to a disgusting new low today as they released a video tying the Trump Campaign with horrific racial images,” said Pastor Mark Burns, who spoke on Trump’s behalf at the Republican National Convention.
“This type of rhetoric and repulsive advertising is revolting and completely beyond the pale. I call on Hillary Clinton to disavow this video and her campaign for this sickening act that has no place in our world,” he said.
Many on Twitter also thought this was out of bounds.
There’s a reason the most hateful fringe of the right wing is supporting Donald Trump.https://t.co/AqB3DM2m0N
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 25, 2016
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.@HillaryClinton This is embarrassing.
— Ashley Rae (@Communism_Kills) August 25, 2016
Many noted that Clinton had been a support of former Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., who was a Klan member.
— Indep 4 AmericaFirst (@Indep4Trump) August 25, 2016
Clinton is not the first candidate this year to use Duke’s support for Trump against him. During the GOP primary season, a super PAC tied to Sen. Marco Rubio tried to slam Trump after an interview in which Trump refused to issue a blanket statement disavowing groups that might be linked to the Klan, saying he would need to know about the groups first.
When that ad was fact-checked by Politifact, the result was in Trump’s favor.
“Trump hasn’t gone after the KKK and white nationalists like Duke with the same fervor as his opponents, but it’s inaccurate to make a blanket statement based on a single interview given his history of rejecting white supremacists,” it said.
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