Donald Trump, a man who denied knowledge of America’s most famous hate group and a leader he has publicly, voluntarily denounced in the past, definitely knows about the Ku Klux Klan. At least, he knows about the white supremacist group when he has to deny allegations that his father was involved in it.
After the Republican presidential frontrunner professed his willful ignorance of the KKK and former leader and current Trump supporter David Duke on Sunday, an interview was unearthed that shows that Trump has passionately spoke about the KKK in the past. Jason Horowitz, a reporter at The New York Times, asked Trump about a 1927 article in that same newspaper which said that his father, Fred C. Trump, was arrested along with a group reportedly at a Ku Klux Klan rally in Queens. It wasn’t clear what sort of role the senior Trump played in the rally, but according to the younger Trump, it never happened at all. From The New York Times report:
Q. Have you seen this story about police arresting a Fred Trump who lived at that Devonshire address in 1927 after a Ku Klux Klan rally turned violent?
A. Totally false. We lived on Wareham. The Devonshire — I know there is a road Devonshire but I don’t think my father ever lived on Devonshire.
Q. The Census shows that he lived there with your mother there. But regardless, you never heard about that story?
A. It never happened. And by the way, I saw that it was one little website that said it. It never happened. And they said there were no charges, no nothing. It’s unfair to mention it, to be honest, because there were no charges. They said there were charges against other people, but there were absolutely no charges, totally false.
In an introduction to the interview, Horowitz noted Trump’s “sudden denial of a fact he had moments before confirmed.”
There are a lot of conclusions one could take from this exchange, including the theory that Trump’s father may have been a KKK sympathizer. But that’s not the issue at hand today—rather, this serves to point out that, of course, Trump knows about the KKK, just like any other moderately conscious citizen in the U.S.