A review of the transcript of Donald Trump’s CNN interview revealed that his excuse of a bad earpiece leading him to not disavow the KKK was a lie.
Trump tried to throw CNN under the bus on NBC’s Today:
Trump said, “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 earpiece that is provided 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 unfair to disavow a group, Matt, if the group shouldn’t be disavowed. I have to know who the groups are. But I disavowed David Duke.”
Trump tried to blame it all on a bad earpiece, and CNN, but the transcript of the exchange revealed that Trump knew exactly what he was talking about:
TAPPER: I want to ask you about the Anti-Defamation League, which this week called on you to publicly condemn unequivocally the racism of former KKK grand wizard David Duke, who recently said that voting against you at this point would be treason to your heritage.
Will you unequivocally condemn David Duke and say that you don’t want his vote or that of other white supremacists in this election?
TRUMP: Well, 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. So, I don’t know.
I don’t know, did he endorse me or what’s going on, because, you know, I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists. And so you’re asking me a question that I’m supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.
TAPPER: But I guess the question from the Anti-Defamation League is, even if you don’t know about their endorsement, there are these groups and individuals endorsing you. Would you just say unequivocally you condemn them and you don’t want their support?
TRUMP: Well, I have to look at the group. I mean, I don’t know what group you’re talking about.
You wouldn’t want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about. I would have to look. If you would send me a list of the groups, I will do research on them. And, certainly, I would disavow if I thought there was something wrong.
TAPPER: The Ku Klux Klan?
TRUMP: But you may have groups in there that are totally fine, and it would be very unfair. So, give me a list of the groups, and I will let you know.
TAPPER: OK. I mean, I’m just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan here, but…
TRUMP: I don’t know any — honestly, I don’t know David Duke. I don’t believe I have ever met him. I’m pretty sure I didn’t meet him. And I just don’t know anything about him.
TAPPER: All right.
Tapper repeatedly said that he was asking about the KKK, but Trump danced around his question on each occasion. Donald Trump has never been shy before about telling reporters that he can’t hear during interviews. Donald Trump knows how television works, so the idea that he would suddenly try to answer questions that he couldn’t hear doesn’t make any sense.
Donald Trump’s attempt to blame CNN and a bad earpiece was clearly a lie. Trump depends on free media from the mainstream press to keep his campaign at the top of the polls. The corporate media is more interested in ratings than decency, so there is little doubt that they will continue endlessly give Trump airtime.
The bigger issue for Republicans is that Donald Trump is closing in on their presidential nomination. A Trump nomination will not only cost the GOP the 2016 election, but Donald Trump as the Republican standard bearer might be the kill shot that puts down the wounded Republican Party for decades to come.