KKK, White Nationalists ready to roll for Donald Trump on Election Day
The Ku Klux Klan and white nationalist groups are going all-in for Donald Trump, planning efforts to monitor polls, mobilize Trump voters and discourage African-Americans from casting ballots on Election Day.
Groups including the Nationalist Socialist Movement and the American Freedom Party have taken up Trump's call for supporters to watch polls, ostensibly to protect against voter fraud and a "rigged election," according to a Politico report.
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The alt-right website The Right Stuff also reportedly has plans to set up cameras and hand out liquor and marijuana in Philadelphia, while the militia movement group the Oath Keepers is telling members to conduct undercover "intelligence-gathering" at precincts around the country.
In a lengthy email to Politico, an unidentified representative of The Right Stuff discussed plans to "monitor anyone that comes in to vote and make sure that the same people are not voting at multiple locations."
"If we see people voting in multiple locations the footage will be submitted to the [Federal Election Commission] as well as put out on social media to undermine the legitimacy of [Democratic nominee Hillary] Clinton should she steal the election," the representative wrote.
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The representative claimed supporters already had set up some hidden cameras in "black schools" to catch potential vote fraud, and other teams would be "going into the ghettos in Philly with 40s and weed to give out to local residents, which we think will lead to more of them staying home."
White nationalist groups have embraced Trump and his message. A KKK leader said members will be working to get Trump supporters to the polls, while a quarterly newspaper affiliated with the group, The Crusader, dedicated the entire front page of its current issue to what amounted to an endorsement of Trump.
"While Trump wants to make America great again, we have to ask ourselves, 'What made America great in the first place?'" the article says. "The short answer to that is simple. America was great not because of what our forefathers did – but because of who our forefathers were.
"America was founded as a White Christian Republic. And as a White Christian Republic it became great."
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While Thomas Robb, a pastor who penned The Crusader's column, told The Washington Post the paper was not officially endorsing the GOP nominee, he said it enthusiastically supports his "nationalist views" and stance on closing the borders to those would enter the U.S. illegally.
Trump's campaign immediately rejected the KKK's support, a sharp contrast from earlier in the campaign when the candidate came under heavy criticism for failing to immediately renounce the backing of former KKK leader David Duke.
"Mr. Trump and the campaign denounces hate in any form," Trump's campaign said in a statement Tuesday. "This publication is repulsive and their views do not represent the tens of millions of Americans who are uniting behind our campaign."
But Trump has stressed to his supporters that a widespread effort is underway to deny him the White House through coordinated voter fraud, and has encouraged them to travel to "certain areas" – thought to mean minority communities – in order to watch for voting that's not "on the up and up."
His campaign also began registering volunteers to monitor the polls on Election Day, stoking fears of voter intimidation, and discussed a three-pronged "voter suppression" effort to discourage groups who tend to favor Democrats from turning out. Separately, longtime Republican operative Roger Stone has a volunteer exit polling operation in the works in Ohio and Philadelphia aimed at uncovering any vote rigging.
Democrats have struck back, accusing the Republican National Committee in a court filing of violating a 1982 consent decree in which the RNC is barred from engaging in "ballot security" activities without court approval.
This week, a federal judge ordered the RNC to turn over any evidence it was coordinating with the Trump campaign on poll-watching plans. The judge is expected to rule on whether the RNC will be held in contempt before Election Day, and a hearing is scheduled for Friday.
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