White House Hits Donald Trump for Response to Ex-KKK Grand Wizard David Duke

White House says "we now know all we need to know" about Donald Trump.

ByJohn Parkinson
February 29, 2016, 4:01 PM
PHOTO: White House press secretary Josh Earnest speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Sept. 10, 2015.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Sept. 10, 2015.
Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

— -- The White House today criticized Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump after he initially failed to clearly distance himself from controversial support by a former leader of the Knight s of the Ku Klux Klan.

Over the weekend, Trump declined to disavow the support of former grand wizard David Duke, insisting he needed "to look at the group" first, despite being reminded of the former Louisiana lawmaker’s long association with the KKK.

"Honestly, I don't know David Duke, I don't believe I've ever met him, I'm pretty sure I didn't meet him, and I just don't know anything about him," Trump told CNN Sunday morning, drawing a sharp rebuke from the White House today.

“Look, it'll be up to Mr. Trump to decide how he wants to run his campaign, what he wants to say in terms of the kind of support that he's recruiting to his campaign,” White House Press secretary Josh Earnest told ABC News during today’s daily press briefing.

“It'll be up to Republican voters across the country to decide whether or not they're comfortable with those tactics.”

"Mr. Trump says that there's more he needs to learn about Mr. Duke before he can render an opinion, but I think we've, we now know all we need to know about Mr. Trump to render our own personal opinion about his candidacy."

After a swift wave of criticism spread throughout the media and reverberated across the campaign trail, the billionaire showman ultimately clarified his position in a tweet.

As I stated at the press conference on Friday regarding David Duke- I disavow. pic.twitter.com/OIXFKPUlz2

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2016

But even former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney was not impressed.

A disqualifying & disgusting response by @realDonaldTrump to the KKK. His coddling of repugnant bigotry is not in the character of America.

— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) February 29, 2016

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