On CNN, David Gregory Says At Best Trump Was “Playing Footsie With White Supremacists”

Gregory: “You Have An Obligation As Somebody In The Public Life To Say ... If There Is Any Of This Kind Of Support, I Don't Want It. He Chose Not To Do That”

From the March 1 edition of CNN's New Day:

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ALISYN CAMEROTA (CO-HOST): With Donald Trump's refusal to reject David Duke and the KKK, Republicans, high-profile Republicans, have come out to criticize Donald Trump about this.


CAMEROTA: It doesn't sound like they're at acceptance yet.

DAVID GREGORY: No, they're not, and look this is a disqualifying fact, that Trump

CHRIS CUOMO (CO-HOST): That's the word of the day, by the way.

GREGORY: Yeah, well, it is. But it is disqualifying for a legitimate reason, that at the very most generous you can be that Donald Trump is playing a little loose here with all of this, playing footsie with white supremacists, who he knows are among his ranks of supporters out there, perhaps throughout the South, and maybe doesn't want to completely disavow it until he gets through Super Tuesday. So these are big issues. But let's be honest about the fact that these people in the establishment, the Nikki Haley's, other senators and all that who say I'm not going to vote for Donald Trump if he's the nominee, that only strengthens his support right now. We look at all these polls and these exit polls, people who are the party faithful in the Republican Party feel betrayed by the Republican Party elders. That's who they are mad at. That's who Trump is speaking to.

CUOMO: And this feels like a smear on some level. The idea that Trump doesn't come out and say I don't want anything to do with the KKK is almost zero. Did he botch the answer with Jake? Yes. Did Jake do a very professional job in giving an opening to give a different answer? Yes. He botched it. He just did. Period. But I wonder how much that issue is really going to resonate. People who support him don't think he supports the KKK.

GREGORY: No, I think that's -- And yes, did he disavow it when the Duke thing come up last Friday. But there was no reason to botch an answer like this. You have an obligation as somebody in the public life to say, by the way, if there is any of this kind of support, I don't want it. He chose not to do that.

CUOMO: Romney saying it's disqualifying. You just heard it from another congressman. And his buddy, on another morning show, who's been giving him safe harbor for months, he said it's disqualifying.

Pundits Across Political Spectrum Blast Trump For Declining To Disavow Support From KKK