Charlottesville: Ex-KKK leader David Duke slams Trump for condemning violent clashes
David Duke, former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, has slammed U.S. President Donald Trump for decrying violent clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va., claiming that the so-called “Unite the Right” rally represents Trump’s own supporters’ vision for the United States.
Trump took to Twitter early Saturday afternoon to condemn the violence, hours after Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in an attempt to quell the unrest.
But the president’s words didn’t sit well with Duke, who began by claiming that the violence was initiated by “the same radical leftists” who previously caused disruptions at Trump rallies.
Duke then chided Trump for speaking out against the very demographic that he claimed put in him the Oval Office, namely white Americans who he insisted have been discriminated against for decades.
Soon after Duke’s tweets slamming Trump, Charlottesville Mayor Mike Singer confirmed that at least one person had been killed. Around the same time, video emerged showing a vehicle plowing into marching counter-protesters.
Police arrested 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. in connection with the vehicular attack, which left a 32-year-old woman dead.
WATCH: Car rams into protesters at white nationalists rally in Charlottesville
Earlier in the day, Duke, who attended the rally, told reporters that the rally represented “a turning point” for Americans.
“We are determined to take our country back. We’re going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump,” Duke said in a video circulating on Twitter.
“That’s what we believed in, that’s why we voted for Donald Trump, because he said he’s going to take our country back, and that’s what we’ve got to do.”
An early supporter of Trump’s presidential bid, Duke ran for a U.S. Senate seat from Louisiana in 2016, with his campaign unabashedly highlighting similarities between his vision of America and that of then-candidate Trump.
Duke ended up receiving three per cent of the vote, placing seventh in the Louisiana primary race.
He previously served as a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives between 1989 and 1992.
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