GOP senator: Trump better than Clinton even if he didn't disavow KKK
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A Republican senator says Donald TrumpDonald TrumpThe Memo: The Obamas unbound, on race Iran says onus is on US to rejoin nuclear deal on third anniversary of withdrawal Assaults on Roe v Wade increasing MORE would be a better choice for president than any Democrat even if hadn't disavowed the endorsement of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

"Even if you're disappointed with the way he's responding to things, even if you're mad at him, you disagree with him, if he did it intentionally — I don't think he did, I think he just made a mistake — even if he did, they're still going to do a better job with him there than if you had Hillary or Bernie in his place," Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) told the Huffington Post on Tuesday.

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Rounds also condemned the white supremacist groups and distanced himself from Trump's comments.

"Honestly, I've only been here a year, but I can tell you that I can't think of a single person who would be in favor of, or promote anything to do, or give any credibility to any movement that would suspect or promote additional activity on the part of white supremacists," Rounds said when asked about Republican lawmakers' feelings about Trump as their nominee.

 

“Down the line, Republican or Democrat, there is no room anyplace for supporters of the KKK or any other white supremacist group."

During a CNN interview Sunday, Trump was asked about Duke's endorsement of him. He declined to denounce the white supremacist, saying he wasn't aware of Duke or any groups he's affiliated with.

The real estate mogul later backtracked, saying that he had a faulty earpiece during the interview and didn't understand the question.

Rounds on Tuesday noted that Trump's remarks were disappointing.

"I think it's an unfortunate response. A very unfortunate response," he said.

"My choice would still be — honestly, I'm still leaning to Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDemocrats cool on Crist's latest bid for Florida governor Tim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE, as I suspect there are others [who] are," he added.

Rounds, though, said that Trump would still be a better choice than either Democratic candidates Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMcConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' Hillary Clinton: There must be a 'global reckoning' with disinformation Pelosi's archbishop calls for Communion to be withheld from public figures supporting abortion rights MORE or Bernie SandersBernie SandersGOP is consumed by Trump conspiracy theories Manchin on collision course with Warren, Sanders Sanders on Cheney drama: GOP is an 'anti-democratic cult' MORE.

"But nonetheless, our critical issue is fixing things in the United States, and you can't do that if you've got Bernie or Hillary, because they have a differing point of view about what's right and what's wrong with this country," he said.

Updated at 6:18 p.m.