Santorum To Give Away Money Donated To Him By White Supremacist

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Monday afternoon that he would give away funds donated to him by a white supremacist who may have influenced the man suspected of gunning down nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

“It was brought to my attention late Sunday evening that an individual who led a group cited by the murderer who terrorized the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston had given to one of my past political campaigns,” Santorum said in the statement. “Rather than put more money back in the pockets of such an individual, my 2012 campaign committee will be donating the amount of his past donations to the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund to support the victims of this tragedy.”

The Guardian first reported late Sunday that Earl Holt III, president of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a once-prominent white nationalist group that’s long been tied to GOP politicians in the American South, donated thousands of dollars to Santorum. Campaign finance records show Holt also donated to presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

A Santorum spokesman, Matt Beynon, previously told The Guardian that the former Pennsylvania senator “does not condone or respect racist or hateful comments of any kind. Period.”

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