Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins lectured Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Feb. 29 about former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke, but did not mention his own alleged past links with Duke and a white supremacist group (video below).
According to RightWingWatch.org, Perkins took a phone call from a voter during his “Washington Watch” radio show. The caller told Perkins and his audience, “Yesterday evening, they were saying that Donald Trump is being backed by the Ku Klux Klan, so everybody might need to know that too.”
“Let me just say there’s no room for racism and hatred in our national politics of that sort, based upon those immutable characteristics of race,” Perkins stated. “And I hope he does disavow any type of support like that.”
The Nation reported in 2005 that Perkins spoke at the Louisiana Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist group, in 2001, and that Perkins paid Duke $82,500 in 1996 for his mailing list while Perkins was running the campaign of a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate. The Federal Election Commission ended up fining that same campaign $3,000 for trying to hide its payment to Duke.
The FRC slammed The Nation's report in 2005:
Tony Perkins was the manager of the 1996 U.S. Senate campaign of Republican Woody Jenkins in Louisiana where Impact Media was contracted to make pre-recorded telephone calls for the campaign. In 1999, an unrelated federal investigation uncovered that David Duke had a financial interest in the company, which he did not report to the IRS, resulting in his conviction on federal tax evasion charges. This connection was not known to Mr. Perkins until 1999. Mr. Perkins profoundly opposes the racial views of Mr. Duke and was profoundly grieved to learn that Duke was a party to the company that had done work for the 1996 campaign.
An FRC spokesperson told The Vancouver Sun in 2005 that Perkins "cannot remember speaking at the event" put on by the Louisiana Council of Conservative Citizens in 2001, but RightWingWatch.org published a picture of Perkins speaking at the event.