• Politics

David Duke Says He and Donald Trump Have the Same Message

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Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke is running for Senate in Louisiana, and he says Donald Trump’s popularity is helping him in the race.

“I love it,” Duke told the LA Times. “The fact that Donald Trump’s doing so well, it proves that I’m winning. I am winning.”

Duke also told the LA Times that Trump’s proposed policies, like building a wall along the border with Mexico and banning Muslims from entering the country, show the country is open to a white power message. “He’s talking about it in a visceral way,” Duke said. “Donald Trump is talking implicitly. I’m talking explicitly.”

After initially hesitating to disavow Duke or reject Duke’s endorsement, Trump now distances himself from the white nationalist leader. “We disavow any groups associated with a message of hate,” said Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks.

Read more about Trump and white nationalists in TIME’s April magazine story on the subject, ‘The Billionaire and the Bigots.’

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Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.Rogers@time.com