Republican Rep. Tom McClintock says there is a media double standard when it comes to the amount of scrutiny his fellow congressman Steve Scalise of Louisiana has received for admitting he spoke to a white supremacist organization in 2002.
"With respect to Steve Scalise, I know him, he is no racist. Apparently twelve years ago, he was invited to speak to a local group of—uh—he came there to talk about taxes, the group was it turns out was affiliated with a white racist named David Duke, who by the way, Scalise had repeatedly publicly denounced during that period of time and somehow this is a major scandal," said the California Republican in a radio interview Wednesday.
McClintock cited President Obama's ties to pastor Jeremiah Wright as an example of what he called the double standard.
"But then you have Barack Obama who attends many, many years of sermons by black racist Jeremiah Wright, whom he never denounced, who he often lauded, and that's perfectly okay," McClintock said. "You want to talk about double standards, there's the double standard."
"I think this thing is being blown way out of proportion and again you want to speak about double standards, look at some of the outrageous statements made by leading democrats that are clearly racist."
Scalise admitted to speaking at a gathering of the white supremacist group European-American Unity and Rights Organization in 2002.
"It was a mistake I regret, and I emphatically oppose the divisive racial and religious views groups like these hold," Scalise has said in a statement on Tuesday.
According to former EURO and KKK leader David Duke, Scalise was invited to the conference by his political advisor Kenny Knight.
Knight, however, has told Slate Scalise wasn't aware it was a gathering of a white supremacists and that he actually spoke at a pre-gathering before the EURO conference that was hosted by a civic association.
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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