House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is doing some frantic damage control after it emerged on Sunday that he spoke at a white supremacist conference hosted by the infamous David Duke. The New Orleans Times-Picayune has an interview with Scalise: Steve Scalise: ‘I Detest Any Kind of Hate Group’.
In an exclusive interview Monday with nola.com | The Times-Picayune about the growing controversy over his appearance at the Metairie event, Scalise said it is ridiculous to suggest he was involved with the group, which was created by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
“I didn’t know who all of these groups were and I detest any kind of hate group. For anyone to suggest that I was involved with a group like that is insulting and ludicrous,” Scalise said.
Is Steve Scalise a racist? There’s no way for anyone to know what’s in his heart, but that’s really not the issue. The question is whether Steve Scalise lends the support of his office to white supremacists and neo-Nazis and the KKK, and it’s clear that he does. For whatever reason.
This also reveals how deeply the Republican Party is embedded with racists and white supremacist groups, and now David Duke is threatening to out the politicians he’s connected to, if the GOP sanctions Scalise: David Duke: Focus on Me and House GOP Leader Is ‘Insane’.
Overall, Duke was rather flabbergasted by the new focus on Scalise. He said he has hosted both Democratic and Republican legislators at everything from conferences to his children’s birthday parties. He said he has met with Democratic legislators at least 50 times in his political life.
And he delivered a warning to both Republicans and Democrats: Treat Scalise fairly, and don’t try to make political hay out of the situation. Or he said he would be inclined to release a list of names of all the politicians — both Republicans and Democrats — with whom he has ties.
“If Scalise is going to be crucified — if Republicans want to throw Steve Scalise to the woods, then a lot of them better be looking over their shoulders,” Duke said.