(JTA) — David Duke said comparisons of Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler might be helping the Nazi leader rather than hurting the Republican presidential front-runner.
On his radio show Tuesday, the former Ku Klux Klan leader mentioned an unidentified commercial that compared Trump’s pledge to “Make America great again” to Hitler’s drive to restore German greatness.
“It was a commercial against Trump, but I don’t think it’s having the effect that they want it to have,” Duke said, according to a report Wednesday by Right Wing Watch. “They might be rehabilitating that fellow with the mustache back there in Germany.”
Duke described Hitler as “preserving Germany and making Germany great again and free again and not beholden to these Communists on one side, politically who were trying to destroy their land and their freedom, and the Jewish capitalists on the other, who were ripping off the nation through the banking system.”
“We have the same thing going on here with Goldman Sachs,” he said.
Duke first praised Trump’s campaign on his radio show in August, calling his candidacy a great thing after ranting about “Jewish supremacy.” In February, Duke told listeners that voting against Trump would be “treason to your heritage.”
When CNN’s Jake Tapper soon thereafter asked Trump if he would disavow Duke and white supremacist groups like the KKK, Trump demurred. Facing widespread criticism, including from Mitt Romney and other fellow Republicans, Trump blamed a faulty earpiece for his equivocation.
Trump noted that he had disavowed Duke days before and did so again. But Duke apparently remains a Trump supporter.
“They have portrayed Donald Trump as a vicious racist who basically wants to create a Hitlerian regime; that’s what they present him as, which is, of course, the biggest boogeyman and the most hateful thing these days you can say about something,” Duke said. “And if you want to see the direction of this country, just look at a Communist here, Bernie Sanders, running and winning a lot of victories in major states, and who is a former Communist and is a Marxist right now, folks.”