David Duke endorses Tulsi Gabbard for president because he says she won’t put Israel First. She says no thanks.


(JTA) — Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has rejected the endorsement for the 2020 presidential race from white supremacist David Duke.

Duke changed his Twitter page banner to a photo of Gabbard, D-Hawaii, with the words “Tulsi Gabbard for President. Finally a candidate who will actually put America First rather than Israel First!”

In a statement to The Hill, Gabbard said “I have strongly denounced David Duke’s hateful views and his so-called ‘support’ multiple times in the past, and reject his support.”

Gabbard, the first Hindu member of Congress and a veteran of the Iraq war, announced last month that she would run for the Democratic nomination for president. Duke had called on Trump immediately after his election to name Gabbard his secretary of state, which she also rejected.

Gabbard has disputed Duke’s interpretation of her anti-intervention rhetoric, which Duke evidently equates with standing up to Israel; instead she says she opposes “regime-change wars.”

Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and an outspoken anti-Semite, endorsed Trump in 2016 — an endorsement that the future president also rejected.

Gabbard doubled down on her abhorrence of anti-Semitism in a series of tweets commenting on the State of the Union address.

“I applaud the president for standing up against anti-Semitism. Now we should all stand up against religious and racial bigotry of all kinds. #SOTU,” she wrote.

A second tweet read: “I visited the Auschwitz concentration camp and it is an experience I will never, ever forget. The world must never forget the genocide that the Jewish people suffered. Only then can we appreciate how necessarily it is to never allow such a thing to ever happen again. #SOTU

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