- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Democratic Rep. Charles B. Rangel of New York is walking back a statement he made Monday asserting that Republicans are members of “a party that has the Ku Klux Klan.”

Mr. Rangel made the initial comment on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” as he declared it’s “the end of the Republican party as we know it.”

The GOP is “a party that has the Ku Klux Klan, has the tea party, the Freedom Party and it used to be the party of Lincoln, and we are seeing it fall apart,” he said.

Mr. Rangel backtracked the comment Tuesday on Fox Business Network’s “Mornings With Maria Bartiromo.”

“What I really meant was that Trump is saying he was unaware that [David] Duke was connected with the Ku Klux Klan,” he said, according to a clip obtained by Breitbart News.

Mark Serrano interjected, “You didn’t talk about Trump, you talked about the Republican Party.”

“There is no question that I misspoke in saying it was the Klan,” Mr. Rangel responded. “But one thing is abundantly clear is that the Klan will be voting for Trump and there’s so many different pieces that Republicans are not proud of that belong to the Republican Party.

“And let me make it abundantly clear, it wasn’t that long ago that Democrats felt the same way,” he added. “We Democrats had the Ku Klux Klan, we had the Dixiecrats and we weren’t proud of it. They shifted now from the Democratic Party because of the voting rights act and they vote Republican. I misspoke in that — it is not what the party stands for.”

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