- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sen. Tim Scott, the Senate’s only black Republican, denounced Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for failing when prodded Sunday to denounce the Ku Klux Klan.

“Any candidate who cannot immediately condemn a hate group like the KKK does not represent the Republican Party, and will not unite it,” said the South Carolina senator in a statement. “If Donald Trump can’t take a stand against the KKK, we cannot trust him to stand up for America against Putin, Iran or ISIS.”

Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential frontrunner, came under fire Sunday for repeatedly pleading ignorance when asked if he would “unequivocally condemn” the endorsement of white nationalist David Duke, a former KKK grand wizard and Louisiana state legislator.

“Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke,” Mr. Trump said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So, I don’t know.”

The Trump campaign responded later Sunday by posting the candidate’s comment Friday when asked at a press conference about the Duke endorsement.

“I didn’t even know he endorsed me. David Duke endorsed me? Okay, all right. I disavow—okay?” Mr. Trump says in the video posted on his Twitter account.

SEE ALSO: Donald Trump refuses to condemn KKK as campaign veers into nativist territory

The Anti-Defamation League called Thursday on Mr. Trump “to distance himself from white nationalist and former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, as well as other white supremacists, and publicly condemn their racism.”

Mr. Trump also said Sunday that it would be “unfair” to denounce a group with which he was unfamiliar.

“You wouldn’t want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about. I would have to look. If you would send me a list of the groups, I will do research on them,” Mr. Trump said on CNN. “And, certainly, I would disavow if I thought there was something wrong.”

“The Ku Klux Klan?” asked CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Responded Mr. Trump: “But you may have groups in there that are totally fine, and it would be very unfair. So, give me a list of the groups, and I will let you know.”

Mr. Scott has endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for the Republican presidential nomination. There are currently two black members of the Senate, Mr. Scott and Sen. Cory Booker, New Jersey Democrat.

Both Mr. Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Mr. Trump’s chief rivals for the nomination, also denounced Mr. Trump’s comments.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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