Black GOP senator condemns Trump for failing to denounce KKK
© Getty Images

Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottOvernight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open Senators grill ex-Equifax CEO over stock sales Wells Fargo chief defends bank's progress in tense Senate hearing MORE, the only black Republican in the Senate, waded into the controversy over Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE, David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan on Sunday.

ADVERTISEMENT
In a statement released by Florida Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Tillerson, Trump deny report of rift | Tillerson says he never considered resigning | Trump expresses 'total confidence' in secretary | Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad with pro-communist posts GOP establishment doubts Bannon’s primary powers MORE’s presidential campaign, the South Carolina senator said: "Any candidate who cannot immediately condemn a hate group like the KKK does not represent the Republican Party, and will not unite it.”

That echoed statements from Rubio on the trail and in a tweet Sunday afternoon — part of a flood his campaign released attacking Trump for his failure to immediately dismiss an endorsement from Duke, a white nationalist. 

Trump disavowed Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, in a tweet Sunday — but not before stumbling over the issue on CNN’s “State of the Union” earlier in the day. On CNN, Trump said he didn't know anything about Duke or his connections.

"I have to look at the group. I don't know what group you're talking about," he said. "You wouldn't want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about."

Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerRepublicans jockey for position on immigration Bipartisan bill would toughen North Korea sanctions, require Trump's strategy GOP senators push for delay of ObamaCare insurer tax MORE (R-Colo.), in another statement released from the Rubio campaign, said: "The Republican Party is the party of Lincoln, the party that ended slavery. Donald Trump's embrace of the KKK is the clearest demonstration yet that he is not fit to be President.” 

Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), released a strongly worded statement through Rubio’s campaign, which said in part: “As someone of the Jewish faith, which has been a target of KKK hate and violence, I am sickened by Donald Trump's failure to condemn the KKK and disavow their support of his campaign.

“I recognize that many Republicans stood with Trump even after he insulted a war hero, mocked the disabled, degraded women and defamed a former Republican President. But Trump's failure to separate himself from David Duke and the KKK crosses the line of any standard of decency.”

On the Democratic side, front-runner Hillary Clinton showed a rare moment of unity with rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), as the two landed on the same side of this issue, with Clinton retweeting a message from Sanders’s account.