A newspaper published by the Ku Klux Klan in Arkansas endorsed Donald Trump, signaling that white supremacists see in his “America First” campaign coded support for their racist ideology.
The newspaper’s support for Trump generated headlines recently after an image of it was posted on Twitter by a resident of Harrison, Arkansas, who was distressed to find a copy left outside her home.
The image spread gradually on the social network after the Twitter user, a Democratic activist, shared it several times. In another update, the horrified recipient of the paper explained that Harrison, where it is published, is also “where the director of the Knights of the KKK resides and prominent citizens are members.”
This edition of the quarterly newspaper was available at the KKK headquarters in Harrison as early as August, when it was spotted there by Imran Garda, a South African journalist.
Garda was in Harrison to interview Pastor Thomas Robb, the Klan leader who wrote the front-page editorial, for a report on Trump’s white supremacist supporters for Turkey’s TRT World, an English-language channel of the state broadcaster.
“We’ve been saying for a long time, white people in the country as a whole would follow our ideas if we had the power and the finances and the ability to get it into their heads — to broadcast it to them, into their hearts — if they could hear what we have to say,” Robb told Garda. “Donald Trump has in a sense validated what we’ve been saying. For the most part, he’s saying the very same things we’ve been saying.”
As Rachel Maddow reported, the same edition of Klan newspaper, The Crusader, also includes a bizarre celebration of the Saturday Night Live sketch “Racists for Trump,” under the headline, “Trump Candidacy Moving Dialogue Forward.”
Other features in the issue are devoted to the surge in media attention for the Klan owing to Trump’s campaign, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and photos of a recent gathering attended by William Johnson, a white supremacist Trump supporter who just paid to broadcast a homophobic attack ad in Utah in support of the Republican candidate.
The Crusader also drew attention to a speech against “non-white immigration” given in Austria by a Croatian-American white supremacist, Tom Sunic. Sunic, a Trump supporter who was educated in California but now lives in Zagreb, recently spoke alongside Johnson at a conference of extreme nationalists in Germany.
Sunic, whose Twitter feed also features images from all-white beauty pageants in Europe, has been rallying support for Trump from his fellow American expatriates.
After the Klan’s endorsement was reported by the Washington Post on Tuesday night, a spokesman for Trump said “the campaign denounces hate in any form,” and called the publication “repulsive.” There was, however, no repudiation of the Klan’s support from the much larger platform of Trump’s own Twitter account.
As the Post noted, Trump was slow to reject the support of the former Kan leader David Duke earlier in the campaign. Duke, who is now running for the United States Senate in Louisiana, released an ad last week urging his supporters to vote for Trump.