Here's what Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said about white supremacist David Duke in several interviews in the past 15 years. (Sarah Parnass/The Washington Post)

Here is a full chronology of Donald Trump’s statements on white supremacist David Duke.

Unlike most other top Republican officials, Trump generally does not couple his statements about Duke with a firm condemnation of Duke’s views. Instead, his answers are often reactive, such as “I would do that [repudiate Duke], if it made you feel better.”

1991

CNN’s Larry King: “Did the David Duke thing bother you? Fifty-five percent of the whites in Louisiana voted for him.”

Trump: “I hate seeing what it represents, but I guess it just shows there’s a lot of hostility in this country. There’s a tremendous amount of hostility in the United States.”

King: “Anger?”

Trump: “It’s anger. I mean, that’s an anger vote. People are angry about what’s happened. People are angry about the jobs. If you look at Louisiana, they’re really in deep trouble. When you talk about the East Coast, it’s not the East Coast. It’s the East Coast, the middle coast, the West Coast…”

David Duke has a long history in politics and the white supremacy movement. Here are key moments in Duke's life in the public eye. (Claritza Jimenez/The Washington Post)

— exchange on “Larry King Live,” shortly after Duke lost a race for governor of Louisiana, Nov. 19, 1991

2000

“The Reform Party now includes a Klansman, Mr. Duke, a neo-Nazi, Mr. [Patrick] Buchanan, and a communist, Ms. [Lenora] Fulani. This is not company I wish to keep.”

— Trump, in a statement saying he will not accept the Reform Party nomination for president, Feb. 13, 2000

NBC’s Matt Lauer: “When you say the [Reform] party is self-destructing, what do you see as the biggest problem with the Reform Party right now?”

Trump: “Well, you’ve got David Duke just joined — a bigot, a racist, a problem. I mean, this is not exactly the people you want in your party.”

—remarks on NBC’s “Today Show,” Feb. 14, 2000

2015

Bloomberg’s John Heilemann: “How do you feel about the David Duke quasi-endorsement?”

Trump: “I don’t need his endorsement; I certainly wouldn’t want his endorsement. I don’t need anyone’s endorsement.”

Heilemann: “Would you repudiate David Duke?”

Trump: “Sure, I would do that, if it made you feel better. I don’t know anything about him. Somebody told me yesterday, whoever he is, he did endorse me. Actually I don’t think it was an endorsement. He said I was absolutely the best of all of the candidates.”

— exchange during an interview on Bloomberg Politics, Aug. 26, 2015

2016

“Voting for these people [Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz], voting against Donald Trump at this point is really treason to your heritage. I’m not saying I endorse everything about Trump, in fact I haven’t formally endorsed him. But I do support his candidacy, and I support voting for him as a strategic action. I hope he does everything we hope he will do.”

— David Duke, on his radio program, Feb. 25, 2016

 

Question: “How do you feel about the recent endorsement from David Duke?”

Trump: “I didn’t even know he endorsed me. David Duke endorsed me? Okay, all right. I disavow, okay?”

— Trump, in response to a question at a news conference, Feb. 26

 

CNN’s Jake Tapper: “I want to ask you about the Anti-Defamation League, which this week called on you to publicly condemn unequivocally the racism of former KKK grand wizard David Duke, who recently said that voting against you at this point would be ‘treason to your heritage.’ Will you unequivocally condemn David Duke and say that you don’t want his vote or that of other white supremacists in this election?” 

Trump: “Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke. Okay? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So, I don’t know. I don’t know, did he endorse me or what’s going on, because, you know, I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists. And so you’re asking me a question that I’m supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.” 

Tapper: “But I guess the question from the Anti-Defamation League is, even if you don’t know about their endorsement, there are these groups and individuals endorsing you. Would you just say unequivocally you condemn them and you don’t want their support?” 

Trump: “Well, I have to look at the group. I mean, I don’t know what group you’re talking about. You wouldn’t want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about. I would have to look. If you would send me a list of the groups, I will do research on them. And, certainly, I would disavow if I thought there was something wrong.” 

Tapper: “The Ku Klux Klan?” 

Trump: “But you may have groups in there that are totally fine, and it would be very unfair. So, give me a list of the groups, and I will let you know.” 

Tapper: “Okay. I mean, I’m just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan here, but…”

Trump: “I don’t know any — honestly, I don’t know David Duke. I don’t believe I have ever met him. I’m pretty sure I didn’t meet him. And I just don’t know anything about him.” 

Tapper: “All right.” 

— exchange on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Feb. 28

 

Trump: “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. But what I heard was ‘various groups.’ And I don’t mind disavowing anybody and I disavowed David Duke. And I disavowed him the day before at a major news conference…. I have no problem disavowing groups, but I’d at least like to know who they are. It would be very unfair to disavow a group if the group shouldn’t be disavowed. I have to know who the groups are. But I disavowed David Duke.”

— Interview with NBC’s “Today Show,” Feb. 29

 

ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos: “So, are you prepared right now to make a clear and unequivocal statement renouncing the support of all white supremacists?”

Trump: “Of course, I am. I mean, there’s nobody that’s done so much for equality as I have. You take a look at Palm Beach, Florida, I built the Mar-a-Lago Club, totally open to everybody; a club that frankly set a new standard in clubs and a new standard in Palm Beach and I’ve gotten great credit for it. That is totally open to everybody. So, of course, I am.

–exchange on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” March 1

Trump: “We had a news conference and they asked me the exact same question. I said I disavow. Now, right after the program that we’re talking about — and I thought it was clear, but you know, we’re talking about groups, groups, groups. I do have to know the name of the group because, who knows? I mean, they have to give me the name of the group. But right after, when I reviewed it, I put out a tweet and I put out on Facebook that I totally disavow. Now everybody knew I did that but the press refused to look at that. It was right after. And I disavowed then; I disavowed today on ABC with George Stephanopoulos, I disavowed again. I mean, how many times are you supposed to disavow? But I disavow and hopefully it’s the final time I have to do it. But if you look at Facebook and if you look at Twitter, right after the show I put out a statement because I want everybody to be sure.” 

–remarks at a news conference on election returns on Super Tuesday, March 1

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