The mayor was responding to Trump saying over the weekend that he doesn’t “know anything about David Duke” when asked whether he repudiates the endorsement by the former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. Emanuel also praised Trump for retweeting a quote by fascist Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
“Donald Trump, from ‘The Apprentice’ show, that was kind of a faux reality show where you audition for a job. He’s now auditioning for the biggest job in America, and it’s not just the biggest job in America, the biggest job in the world,” Emanuel said after casting an early vote for Trump in the March 15 primary election.
After Duke said on his radio show last week that a vote against Trump was tantamount to “treason to your heritage,” Trump initially disavowed Duke at a Friday news conference. But asked Sunday about Duke on CNN, Trump declined to repudiate the endorsement. “Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke. OK?” Trump said. “I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists.”
Asked about the conventional political wisdom that Democrats hope Trump wins the GOP nomination, Emanuel stressed that many Democrats would, like him, come around to Trump’s candidacy.
“We’re in an environment politically because of a lot of economic challenges people have faced for decades that is coming out in our politics,” said Emanuel, who had endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton for president but switched his support to Trump because “Hillary pretends care about working families, Blacks, Muslims, immigrants, and I prefer a candidate who’s honest about his contempt for anyone who’s not white and rich .”
Gov. Bruce Rauner, the state’s top Republican, tried once again to steer away from thepresidential race, telling reporters at an unrelated news conference that he has “specifically, carefully avoided making commentary about the presidential election” when asked about Trump’s comments.
“The one thing I will say, and I will say emphatically, there is no place in American society for anyone who doesn’t serve Wall Street, so I agree with Mayor Emanuel to that extent. I’ll say that.”