Trump spreads claim that Clinton’s ‘mentor’ was ‘KKK member’

Trump spreads claim that Clinton’s ‘mentor’ was ‘KKK member’
August 29 06:47 2016

GOP Presidential nominee, Donald Trump, has pushed back against his Democratic rival, Hillary
 Clinton’s efforts to link him to the Ku Klux Klan.
 The Republican nominee retweeted a supporter’s post that
 the Democratic nominee “said a KKK member was her 
mentor.”

And speaking later in Des Moines, Iowa, he
dredged up Clinton’s use of the term “super predators” in 
the 1990s to argue that he, not Clinton, offered African-
Americans the best choice for president.
 Trump’s retweet and his latest appeals to black voters
 capped off a week of increasingly ugly and racially charged
 accusations between the two leading presidential
 candidates, during which Trump called Clinton a “bigot” and
 the Democratic nominee charged that Trump’s campaign
 was built on “prejudice and paranoia” while also tying him to
the KKK.
”@DiamondandSilk: Crooked Hillary getting desperate.

On
 TV bashing Trump. @CNN, she forgot how she said a KKK 
member was her mentor,” Trump tweeted Saturday.
Lynette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson — better known 
as Diamond and Silk, two African-American sisters
supporting Trump who frequently speak at his rallies –
confirmed to CNN that the tweet referred to the late West
Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd, a former KKK member whom
 Clinton mourned in 2010 as “a true American original, my
friend and mentor.”  
”Donald J. Trump can’t help who embraces his campaign 
but Hillary Clinton could’ve helped who she embraced,” the
 duo said in a statement to CNN.

A Trump spokesman, Jason Miller, declined to comment,
 and a message left with Clinton’s campaign was not
 returned.
Trump’s surrogates in recent days have pointed to Clinton’s
r elationship with Byrd in response to accusations that
Trump’s campaign stokes racial tensions.
 Thursday night, Trump supporter Scottie Nell Hughes also
cited Byrd, telling CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “(Clinton) sat
 there and praised Sen. Byrd saying that he was her mentor,
 that he should be respected and he was a leader of the
 KKK.”
 And on Friday, Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany,
 speaking to CNN’s Jim Sciutto on “The Lead,” said Trump’s
campaign was not engaging in Clinton’s “gutter politics.”
 “You have heard no language to this level coming out of the
Trump campaign,” McEnany said. “They could be digging 
into her past with Robert Byrd.”
Accusations of bigotry
 On Wednesday, Trump flatly labeled Clinton a “bigot who
 sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings
 worthy of a better future.”
The Democrat soon after told Cooper that Trump “courted
white supremacists” and “is someone who is very much
 peddling bigotry and prejudice and paranoia.”

The next day,
she gave a speech in Nevada accusing Trump of “taking
 hate groups main stream and helping a radical fringe take 
over the Republican Party.”
Her running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, picked up on that
 line of attack Friday, saying Trump was “pushing” the values 
of the KKK.  He backed away from the comments on 
Saturday, telling reporters in Florida that Trump has some
 supporters “connected” with the KKK who are “claiming
 him.”
Trump has described such attacks as attempts to “smear”
his supporters. And recently, he’s tried to reach out to 
African-American voters, describing black communities as 
filled with high crime and high unemployment and asking,
”What the hell do you have to lose?” 
Trump sought again on Saturday to draw African-American
 voters — a reliably Democratic demographic — to his 
campaign, noting that “Republicans are the party of
 Abraham Lincoln” and arguing that minorities would benefit
 from his presidency. 
”Nothing means more to me than working to make our party
 the home of the African-American vote once again,” Trump
said while speaking before a nearly all-white audience at 
Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst’s “Roast and Ride” event.

At the same event, he referenced Clinton’s use of the term
”super predators” in 1996 to describe violent criminals, a 
term widely seen as racist and that Clinton has said she
 regretted using.
”By the way, how quickly people have forgotten that Hillary
 Clinton called black youth ‘super predators.’ Remember
 that? ‘Super predators.’ And they were very, very insulted, 
but now people have forgotten,” Trump said. 
Meanwhile, Clinton, in a statement Saturday
 commemorating the 53rd anniversary of the March on 
Washington, said “the stakes in this election are unlike any
 we have faced before.”
 “Those brave men and women who marched, and sat, and
 bled for civil rights in American must not have done so in 
vain,” Clinton said, though she did not mention Trump’s
 name.
 Byrd and the KKK
 Before entering national politics, Byrd helped organise a 
150-member chapter of the Klan in Sophia, West Virginia, in
t he early 1940s. He was chosen as the group’s leader.
 Byrd wrote in his autobiography that he “reflected the fears
 and prejudices” of those years and that he mainly joined the 
Klan because he identified with the hate group’s anti-
Communist politics.

As a senator, Byrd spent more than 14 hours filibustering 
the 1964 Civil Rights Act, a decision he later regretted.
”I saw the act in the kaleidoscope of life, liberty and
 property,” he told CNN’s Dana Bash in 2006. “That was a
different time. I’m from the South, grew up in a Southern
 home … and it was that Southern atmosphere in which I
 grew up and with all of its prejudices and its feelings.”
Byrd told Bash he considered his involvement with the KKK
 “the greatest mistake of my life.” He said he hoped young 
people learned from the mistakes of his youth.
 He even went so far as to apologize to then-Sen. Barack
 Obama in 2005 for his Klan membership.

(CNN)