House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) said he was “hurt” by the coverage of his 2002 speech to a white nationalist group founded by a former Ku Klux Klan leader.
“When you get into this line of work, you’re in public office, you expect you’re gonna have cheap shots taken at you. That’s part of the process,” Scalise told The Hill in an interview published Thursday. “The thing that probably frustrated me and hurt me the most was when there were inaccurate stories written about me or stories that were written that were trying to imply or infer things that weren’t true.”
Scalise said last year that the 2002 speech for the white nationalist group European-American Rights and Unity Organization (EURO) was a “a mistake I regret.” But following the initial reports about the speech, additional stories further tied Scalise to KKK leader David Duke.
In a 1999 interview with Roll Call, Scalise said that he agreed with some of Duke’s “conservative” beliefs but that “Duke has proven that he can’t get elected.”
Scalise told The Hill that the media created a “false narrative” that he is racist.
“At the end of the day, I also reject bigotry and I reject things that they [EURO] stood for,” Scalise told The Hill.