Tulsi Gabbard rejects David Duke endorsement for president
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Tulsi Gabbard rejects David Duke endorsement for president

White supremacist and former KKK grand wizard says Hawaiian lawmaker will ‘put America First rather than Israel First!’

US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, speaks during a campaign rally announcing her candidacy for president in Waikiki, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, speaks during a campaign rally announcing her candidacy for president in Waikiki, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

White supremacist leader and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke has endorsed Rep. Tulsi Gabbard for president in the 2020 race, saying she would not put “Israel first,”  a move that was swiftly and strongly rejected by the Hawaii Democrat.

Duke changed his Twitter page banner to a photo of Gabbard with the words “Tulsi Gabbard for President. Finally a candidate who will actually put America First rather than Israel First!”

In a statement to The Hill, Gabbard said “I have strongly denounced David Duke’s hateful views and his so-called ‘support’ multiple times in the past, and reject his support.”

Gabbard, the first Hindu member of Congress and a veteran of the Iraq war, announced earlier this month that she would run for the Democratic nomination for president. Duke had called on Trump immediately after his election to name Gabbard his secretary of state, which she also rejected.

Gabbard has disputed Duke’s interpretation of her anti-intervention rhetoric, which Duke evidently equates with standing up to Israel; instead she says she opposes “regime-change wars.”

Former Louisiana State Representative David Duke arrives to give remarks after a white nationalist protest was declared an unlawful assembly, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Shaban Athuman/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

Duke, a former grand wizard of the KKK and an outspoken anti-Semite, endorsed Trump in 2016 — an endorsement that the future president also rejected.

Gabbard doubled down on her abhorrence of anti-Semitism in a series of tweets commenting on the State of the Union address.

“I applaud the president for standing up against anti-Semitism. Now we should all stand up against religious and racial bigotry of all kinds. #SOTU,” she wrote.

She also tweeted about visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp.

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