FT.HIMMLER, TENNESSEE — Taking his campaign through the Volunteer State on Monday, billionaire reality-TV star and current Republican presidential front-runner Donald J. Trump told reporters after a campaign rally in front of a Reich-Aid drug store that he’d “never heard of” Adolf Hitler and that he’d have to “research the Holocaust” before making any judgments of it.
“Look, a lot of things have happened in the past, some good, some very, very, very bad,” Trump told reporters, “but I’ve always thought it’s a yoooooge mistake to go-off half-cocked and make judgments about people or things until you’ve done all the research you need to.” Trump, who recently came under fire for not immediately denouncing the endorsement from former KKK Grand Wizard and Louisiana Congressman David Duke last week, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper that he had never heard of Duke either.
Members of the press were asking Trump about his knowledge of Hitler after there have been several incidents of white supremacy demonstrations and people of color being abused at his rallies. Some were wondering if he felt that he was tapping into a racially and religiously-charged animosity toward people Latino or Hispanic origin or Islamic Americans that was similar to what Hitler used to rile up the German populace. Trump scratched his head.
“I’m sorry, I just think it’d be a yooge mistake to comment on Hitler or this Hollow-Cost you guys keep asking me about,” Trump said, “but I will say in general, I’m okay with keeping people of a certain religion separated from us as long as it’s the religion I don’t agree with or find scary. So you know, according to the friggin’ First Amendatory branch of the Constitution, I’m right in line there, right in line, yooge. Winning. Yoooge winning. Winning yoogely, you get it.”
With Super Tuesday fast approaching, many in the Republican Party’s establishment class have expressed extreme distress at Trump’s dominance so far. It is undeniable that at least some of his supporters are openly racist and openly white supremacist, as Duke’s and other openly racist leaders’ endorsements have shown. Mr. Trump however, has remained largely unfazed by the controversy, and continually ducks questions about it.
“Look, I’ll have my people do a really yooge chunk of research into this alleged ‘Hitler’ guy, who again I’ve never heard of and I’m friggin’ smarter than everyone remember, and the Hollow-Cost thing too,” Trump told reporters as he was ending the press conference, “and then we’ll release an official campaign opinion on them. Until then, lets’ go rile up some more angry, white, old conservatives, shall we?”