The former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke is not letting go of Donald Trump, whether the Republican Party likes it or not. A week after declaring his own Senate candidacy inspired by Trump, America's most famous white supremacist slammed Trump's critics and insisted that he will be the nominee's biggest fan.
He's a barnacle the party just can't seem to get rid of.
"You think Trump voters are your voters?" NPR asked in an interview on Friday.
"Well, of course they are!" Duke said. "Because I represent the ideas of preserving this country and the heritage of this country, and I think Trump represents that as well."
"Donald Trump is not a racist," he added. "The truth is, in this country if you simply defend the heritage of European American people, then you're automatically a racist."
Duke said he was dismayed to see Republicans "betraying" their own party by speaking out against their nominee. The former KKK leader, in stark contrast, pledged his loyalty to Trump. (He's also posted videos on YouTube with titles like, "Why The Jewish Elites Hate Trump.")
"As a United States senator, nobody will be more supportive of his legislative agenda, his Supreme Court agenda than I will," Duke said.
"I'm overjoyed to see Donald Trump, and most Americans, embrace most of the issues that I've championed for years," Duke had said in the video announcing his candidacy.
The Republican Party has denounced and rejected Duke's support, but Duke keeps saying that he sees Trump as mainstreaming his own long-held white supremacist views. One of the official themes of the Republican National Convention, "America First," also happens to be one of the white supremacist's slogans.