Topic: Media Research Center
In a June 15 Media Research Center post, Brad Wilmouth complains that "CNN correspondent Randi Kaye repeated a discredited claim that Republican Rep. Steve Scalise 15 years ago spoke to a group founded by white supremacist and former KKK leader David Duke." He continues:
Kaye began the report by recalling that the Republican congressman has a well known love of baseball, and then moved to recounting his history in Congress. The CNN correspondent soon got to the claims about him speaking to white supremacists as she continued: "In 2014, after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary, Scalise jumped into the race. But during that campaign, questions were raised about a speech he gave to a group led by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke back in 2002."
She then added: "Scalise told reporters, 'I detest any kind of hate group. For anyone to suggest that I was involved with a group like that is insulting and ludicrous.'"
Not mentioned was that back in 2015 it was already reported that the man who invited Scalise to speak in 2002 disputed the account that the congressman spoke to Duke's group. The man who booked hotel space for the group's convention, Kenny Knight, has claimed the event Scalise spoke to was a separate event for his local community group which he held in the same hotel as Duke's group to take advantage of the available space. Additionally, a flyer for the convention shows no sign that Scalise was one of the scheduled speakers.
In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Scalise called his appearance before the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO) — an extremist group founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke — a “mistake I regret” and added that he rejected the organization’s racist ideology.
As he has over the past two days, Scalise said he made the EURO speech only to drum up support for a tax proposal he was then pushing in the state legislature.
“Twelve years ago, I spoke to many different Louisiana groups as a state representative, trying to build support for legislation that focused on cutting wasteful state spending, eliminating government corruption, and stopping tax hikes,” Scalise said in his latest statement.
“One of the many groups that I spoke to regarding this critical legislation was a group whose views I wholeheartedly condemn. It was a mistake I regret, and I emphatically oppose the divisive racial and religious views groups like these hold. I am very disappointed that anyone would try to infer otherwise for political gain. As a Catholic, these groups hold views that are vehemently opposed to my own personal faith, and I reject that kind of hateful bigotry. Those who know me best know I have always been passionate about helping, serving, and fighting for every family that I represent. And I will continue to do so.”
That seems like a major omission on Wilmouth's part. Which make the rest of his post as discredited as he claims the CNN reporter is.