Louisiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise may have spoken at a white supremacist group meeting in 2002, or he might not have, but either way, the group's founder, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke said Saturday he's prepared to "name names" of lawmakers who had dealings with him if they continue attacking the lawmaker.
"I would name names of any Democrat — and I know some Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives — who tried, in fact urged me, to support them," Duke told CNN's Michael Smerconish
And while he insists he respects the privacy of people who had dealings with him, "I would call them out if they were hypocritical."
Scalise has come under fire for possibly speaking at the 2002 conference of the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, which many civil rights groups say is a hate group. The lawmaker has apologized
for speaking at the meeting, but since then, there has been some dispute
over whether he spoke to the group or to another meeting going on at the same time.
"I've got conflicting reports," said Duke. "One person said that he was a no-show, that he was scheduled to come — one person said that he did come. I just don't know what the truth is."
Duke added: "It seems that Mr. Scalise thinks he may have. That's why he's — he's covering himself."
Duke said he was in Russia when the conference occurred, so he could not confirm exactly who spoke. But the controversy has brought calls for Scalise to step down from his leadership position as House Majority Whip and brought his party controversy as they get ready to take full control of the House and Senate.
Duke's advisor, Kenny Knight, who organized the conference, said that he does not know what happened that day, but has said that Scalise spoke to a civic association meeting held beforehand.
But even if Scalise spoke, Duke said that he and the lawmaker do not support each other.
"I was not his supporter, he was not my supporter," said Duke. "I did not contribute to him, he did not contribute to me, okay? He was not a member of my organization — he was an early young representative who just got elected in Louisiana, and he was pushing a tax program, and he was coming to constituents. And again, I believe that every elected official has a responsibility to hear out people who are right wing, left wing."
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