Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who endorsed Donald Trump for president on Sunday, said on Monday that Trump needs to make clear that he supports racial "equality and fair treatment" after the Republican gave vacillating comments on David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan.
Asked on The Matt Murphy Show on Alabama radio if he was "comfortable" that Donald Trump believes in equality, Sessions said, ""Well, I think so. He's disavowed this before. And, you know, you get asked these questions — I don't know what happened. But I would just say this: he needs to make that clear and I think it would be important for the people to know that."
When Trump was asked on Sunday about Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, urging people to vote for him, the businessman at first said he didn't know who Duke was, before later reiterating his disavowal of Duke's support. Trump's initial response brought a wave of criticism, and on Monday he attributed his demurral to a bad earpiece.
Sessions said he thinks elected officials should believe in racial equality.
"Well, I didn't hear it exactly," he said of Trump's comments on Duke. "But this is what I would say about it — apparently he answered it, that he disavowed it previously, some months ago or whatever. But I think, what the right answer to this is, this country does not discriminate. We will not — no president, no officer in this country should hold office that has any hint of treating people differently because of the color of their skin or where they came from and that kind of thing. We believe in equality and fair treatment and that's the moral principle that we adhere to as a nation. And I hope he makes that clear."
In the interview, Sessions also praised Trump for raising the issue of immigration in the Republican primary, but added that he was "not comfortable with" the way Trump speaks always.
"I hate — I wish he could clean up his speeches more," Sessions said. "But he in his own style is communicating with people his concerns and they're responding to it."
Christopher Massie is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Christopher Massie at Christopher.Massie@buzzfeed.com.
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