Trump Blames Bad Earpiece for Answer on KKK

Says he didn't hear the questions clearly
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 29, 2016 8:57 AM CST
Trump Blames Bad Earpiece for Answer on KKK
Donald Trump during a speech in Oklahoma City.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

(Newser) – Donald Trump is getting hammered for not disavowing himself from the KKK during a CNN interview over the weekend, but now the candidate says he has an explanation: a "lousy earpiece." During an appearance on the Today show Monday morning, Trump said that he couldn't clearly hear questions coming from CNN's Jake Tapper, who was grilling him about praise directed his way by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. (See the Tapper-Trump exchange here). "I'm sitting in a house in Florida, with a very bad earpiece that they gave me, and you could hardly hear what he was saying," says Trump. "What I heard was 'various groups.' And I don't mind disavowing anybody and I disavowed David Duke."

Marco Rubio for one has seized on the CNN interview to call Trump unfit for the presidency, hoping to put a dent in his poll numbers ahead of Super Tuesday. But Trump doesn't seem fazed: "He did it because he's desperate," he says of Rubio's criticism. "He's down in the polls. He's a nervous wreck." Also on Monday, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post going after Trump on the issue. "The next GOP nominee will be a man who refused to condemn the Ku Klux Klan and one of its most infamous Grand Wizards when telling the ugly truth wouldn’t have cost him a single vote," he writes. "So is this how the party of Abraham Lincoln dies?" (Read more Donald Trump 2016 stories.)

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