House GOP Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) claims he didn’t realize that he was speaking at an event for a hate group in 2002, but not many completely believe that explanation.
“Yesterday, Steve Scalise tried to explain that he didn’t know he was speaking to a white supremacist group when he addressed them as a state legislator. Seriously? He didn’t know?” Democratic National Committee communications director Mo Elleithee said in a Monday statement. “The group was named the ‘European-American Unity and Rights Organization,’ it was founded by David Duke, and he was invited by two of Duke’s longtime associates. It doesn’t get much more clear than that.”
Scalise spoke at a 2002 event for the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, a white nationalist group founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader and Louisiana representative David Duke.
Scalise explained that in 2002, he spoke for “any group that called,” which the DNC also decried as a lame excuse.
“Does he not believe that speaking to an anti-semitic hate group legitimizes them and elevates their racist and divisive existence? How abhorrent does a group have to be to decline their invitation?” Elleithee asked. “These questions are just the tip of the iceberg — Rep. Scalise and all of Republican leadership need to start giving some real answers soon.”
Red State editor Erick Erickson also said he didn’t believe that Scalise did not realize he was attending an event hosted by a white nationalist group.
“How the hell does somebody show up at a David Duke organized event in 2002 and claim ignorance?” Erickson wrote Monday evening.