clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A Trump supporter’s ridiculous claim: the KKK is a “leftist” group

Jeffrey Lord and Van Jones spar on CNN.
Jeffrey Lord and Van Jones spar on CNN.

In the waning hours of Super Tuesday coverage, a surrogate for Donald Trump got into a bizarre fight on CNN about which candidate was more divisive on the issue of race. He said it was Democrats that had to answer for the Ku Klux Klan, not Trump.

Van Jones, a former White House adviser to President Barack Obama, accused Donald Trump of hypocrisy for repeatedly condemning terrorists while refusing to denounce an endorsement from David Duke, a KKK leader that Jones likened to a domestic terrorist.

In response, Jeffrey Lord, a Reagan White House official who is working as a Trump surrogate for CNN, called the KKK a "leftist" organization and the terrorist wing of the Democratic Party.

"For God's sake, read your history," he shot at Jones.

To be clear, the KKK is not by any stretch of the imagination a leftist organization. It is true, strictly speaking, that the Klan once had ties to the Democratic Party. But to suggest it is leftist ignores a century of political realignment that pushed Southern white voters to the Republican Party.

This is not the first time Lord has made a similar historically inaccurate argument about the KKK, according to Gawker. In 2013, for an essay in the American Spectator, he wrote about "leftist" abuses throughout history — tracing them all the way to the controversies over the IRS allegedly targeting Tea Party groups, what he called "tyranny of a different sort."

Lord concluded his comments Tuesday night on CNN by saying that the Democratic Party, not Trump, was dividing the country by race. "And they did it to further the progressive agenda," he said.