An interview with one of Donald Trump’s sons alongside a white supremacist on a conservative radio show sparked controversy, adding to concerns that the front-runner in the battle to be a Republican candidate in November’s presidential election is willing to accept support from extremist groups.
A Utah-based radio show “Liberty Roundtable”, hosted by Sam Bushman, had interviewed Donald Trump Jr., an active campaigner of his father.
He was questioned by James Edwards during the show, who is another radio host whose show “The Political Cesspool” is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a leading US civil rights group, as “racist and anti-Semitic.”
During the interview, Trump Jr. talked about how his father’s campaign was changing the Republican Party and how he saw him to be a good father.
"It's not a campaign anymore, it's a movement," he said.
The show has featured such extremists as former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and Holocaust denier Willis Carto.
Edwards had attended a Memphis rally for Donald Trump as a credentialed media member last Saturday, he said on his blog.
The Trump campaign denied any knowledge about the interview, it also said it did not know about Edwards’ personal views.
"The campaign provided media credentials to everyone that requested access to the event on Saturday in Memphis. There were close to 200 reporters in attendance and we do not personally vet each individual. The campaign had no knowledge of his personal views and strongly condemns them.”
"Donald Trump Jr. was not in attendance (at the Memphis rally) and although he served as a surrogate for his father on several radio programs over the past week, to his knowledge and that of the campaign, he did not participate in an interview with this individual," campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in an email.
"My show, The Political Cesspool, promotes a proud, paleoconservative Christian worldview, and we reject media descriptions of our work as "white supremacist," "pro-slavery" and other such scare words,” Edwards said in a statement.
"As I clearly wrote in yesterday's article, in no way should anyone interpret our press credentialing and subsequent interview with Donald Trump, Jr. as any kind of endorsement by the Trump campaign."
Donald Trump won the majority of the states holding nominating contests on Super Tuesday, accelerating his march to the Republican nomination.
He has promised to build a wall on the Mexican border, temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States and block Syrian refugees because they might be militants, all policies popular with some US right-wing groups.
Trump previously failed to disavow support for former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, which lead to Republican leaders in the US Congress on Tuesday to condemn white supremacist groups.
House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said any Republican nominee must reject any group "built on bigotry" while Senate leader Mitch McConnell said Senate Republicans condemned groups such as the Klan and "everything they stand for."