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Mailbag: David Duke and Supreme Court Confirmations

This week, readers sent us letters about Donald Trump and David Duke, and U.S. Supreme Court confirmations during a presidential election year.


Disavowing David Duke

I am not a [Donald] Trump fan. I do follow news and saw Trump disavow [David] Duke and white supremacy for several days prior to the [Jake] Tapper interview [“Trump’s David Duke Amnesia,” March 1].

The question had just gotten to the point where the answer is, paraphrasing, “Look, I don’t follow this guy. I don’t know what he is doing.” And, then, when asked about disavowing groups that have shown support for him, Trump answered, again paraphrasing, “I am not condemning anyone that I do not know about.” I wouldn’t condemn any group I knew anything about [sic].

First off, every election David Duke’s name gets thrown out. It has not been part of any discussion. So who threw it out there? And now to say Trump is lying, or supports David Duke or groups that may associate with him, is not factual!! What the media and candidates are throwing out there is alarming. It is not journalism, and it is DISHONEST.

To me, your name FactCheck.org now is not factual. But the sad part is my faith in the media, the system, etc., is dishonest and that saddens me since it is such an important part of how our system works. I wish this would touch so many souls in the media that it would move to providing factual information.

If it doesn’t stop, our way of life will fall.

Gary Allgood
Walla Walla, Washington

FactCheck.org responds: Mr. Allgood is certainly entitled to his opinion. However, we did not write that Trump supports David Duke. Instead, we fact-checked Trump’s statement that “honestly, I don’t know David Duke. I don’t believe I have ever met him. I’m pretty sure I didn’t meet him. And I just don’t know anything about him.” We quoted statements Trump has made that prove Trump does know Duke and his brand of politics. The reader also asks why Duke’s name surfaced in the 2016 presidential campaign. It surfaced because Duke himself, on his radio show, urged his listeners to support Trump.


Election-Year Confirmations

Someone needs to fact-check “FactCheck” since you obviously like to twist the facts. Your recent column on [U.S. Supreme Court] nominees, in regards to Ted Cruz, is deceptive at best [“Cruz, Rubio Twist Court ‘Precedent,’ ” Feb. 17].

Cruz’s point that no justice was “nominated and confirmed in an election year” was correct. FactCheck wants to go back 116 years to prove a point that Cruz never made. You are supposed to be fact-checking what someone stated, not what you apparently wish they stated.

You also failed to mention that the only reason Justice [Anthony] Kennedy was confirmed in an election year is because the liberals in the Democrat Party “borked” Robert Bork. You failed to mention what the Democrats tried to do in 1960, which was to prohibit the very thing they are now whining about, confirming a justice in an election year. You failed to mention all the nonsense the Democrats have pulled over the years when a GOP president was in office, including the charade against Justice Clarence Thomas.

The GOP needs to stand strong and refuse to confirm a far, left-wing justice that would be a slap in the face to the late Justice [Antonin] Scalia. FactCheck needs to quit misleading people.

John Laws
Mentor, Ohio

FactCheck.org responds: We did fact-check exactly what Ted Cruz said. Cruz said: “It has been 80 years since a Supreme Court vacancy was nominated and confirmed in an election year. There is a long tradition that you don’t do this in an election year.” We said that Cruz was right, or “close to right,” on the figure: It has been 76 years. But we explained that there was “missing context” to his claim that this was a “long tradition.” As we said, “There have been only six outstanding court vacancies in an election year since 1900, and in every case the vacancy was filled.”