Ahead of Super Tuesday, Donald Trump has thrown down such a yuuuuge media weekend — with his Chris Christie endorsement and promise to “open up” libel laws — that the Sunday morning talk show circuit can’t cope. America has never seen anything quite like Donald Trump, but world history offers some lessons. Trump has earned Hitler comparisons for many months, and he’s been unfazed by this talk, but this week saw more comparisons by former Mexican President Vicente Fox and Noam Chomsky. Can this many people be wrong while comparing Trump to a fascist? At the very least, this is causing the GOP a lot of embarrassment.
On Sunday’s edition of Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd informed Trump of his latest Twitter mess up. Trump was blindly retweeting (as always) when he spotted this Benito Mussolini quote, which was aimed in his direction by the Il Duce 2016 account:
Trump likely chuckled to himself and thought this sounded like a guy who’d “make America great again” (when it was actually a Gawker prank framed around Mussolini’s famed nickname), so he retweeted that bad boy:
Trump told Chuck Todd that he found the quote “interesting.” When asked whether he wanted to be “associated with a fascist,” Trump awkwardly paused for a moment before replying, “No, I want to be associated with interesting quotes.” Todd seemed amused.
Trump then popped by CNN’s State of the Union to talk with Jake Tapper, who asked Trump to “unequivocally condemn” former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke and say he doesn’t want the white supremacist vote. The KKK and other such groups have supported Trump all along, yet Trump has ignored them (other than the periodic retweet). Speaking to Tapper, Trump played dumb: “I don’t know anything about David Duke.” Trump refused to disavow Duke or any of these groups because “it would be very unfair” without proper research. No wonder the GOP is freaking out because they failed to stop Trump before it was too late.
Just FYI, Trump did say “I disavow” when asked about David Duke during Friday’s Fort Worth rally. This video comes courtesy of Trump’s Twitter account, so what happened during the Jake Tapper talk? Maybe somebody turned into “a chocker.”
For what it’s worth, Trump certainly knew who Duke was in 2000. According to The New York Times, Trump denounced the Reform Party (during an exploratory campaign) for this reason:
“The Reform Party now includes a Klansman, Mr. Duke, a neo-Nazi, Mr. Buchanan, and a communist, Ms. Fulani,” he said in his statement. “This is not company I wish to keep.”