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Trump Defended KKK Members Because He Said ‘Who Really Knows What the KKK Believes Now,’ Book Claims

After a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Donald Trump privately rationalized why someone would join the KKK, suggesting the racist group doesn’t believe what it used to, a book published this week with insider details on the Trump White House claims.

In Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, author Michael Wolff wrote that when Trump finally addressed the August 2017 rally—saying “racism is evil” and that the KKK and other groups that cause violence around it “are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans”—it was “a reluctant mini-grovel,” and the president “was clearly reading forced lines.”

After his KKK remarks, Trump got on Marine One and spewed his actual beliefs while traveling. “Privately, he kept trying to rationalize why someone would be a member of the KKK—that is, they might not actually believe what the KKK believed, and the KKK probably does not believe what it used to believe,” Wolff wrote. “And, anyway, who really knows what the KKK believes now? In fact, he said, his own father was accused of being involved with the KKK—not true. (In fact, yes, true.).”

As Wolff notes, Trump’s father, Fred Trump, was arrested after a KKK riot in Queens, New York, in 1927.