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Ex-KKK wizard David Duke announces Senate run, credits Donald Trump

"I'm overjoyed to see Donald Trump, and most Americans, embraced most of the issues that I've championed for years," said the man who led the white supremacist group.

by Brendan James
Jul 22 2016, 4:15pm

David Duke in Barcelona, Spain, in 2007, holding a Spanish version of his book "Jewish Supremacy". Photo by Gustau Nacarino/Reuters

David Duke, perhaps America's most recognizable white supremacist, announced on Friday that he is running for a US Senate seat in Louisiana.

The former Grand Wizard of the Klu Kux Klan is no stranger to politics, having made several unsuccessful runs for Congress in the 1990s.

But one part of his announcement will likely stand out to people.

"I'm overjoyed to see Donald Trump, and most Americans, embraced most of the issues that I've championed for years," Duke says in a video declaring his candidacy.

"I was the first major candidate in modern times to promote the term and policy, 'America First,'" he adds. "Make America First Again" was the theme of the third day of this week's Republican National Convention, with placards bearing the phrase scattered all over the crowd in Cleveland.

Duke details his key issues in the language of "rights," a recent tone-shift by white supremacists that aims to play down the idea that they represent any kind of extreme or fringe, let alone racist, ideology.

Still, he didn't shy away from reminding people where he stood on race.

"I believe in equal rights for all, and respect for all Americans," he begins in the video. "However, what makes me different is I also demand respect for the rights and the heritage of European Americans."

"We must stop the massive immigration and cleansing of the people whose forefathers created America," he adds.

Neither the Republican National Committee nor Donald Trump's campaign responded to a request for comment.