21 March 2018

Trump's father was arrested at a Ku Klux Klan rally

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Donald Trump’s father was arrested after a Ku Klux Klan riot in the 1920s, news reports from the time suggest.

An article from a June 1927 edition of the New York Times records seven men being arrested after a brawl in New York, including “Fred Trump of 175-24 Devonshire Road, Jamaica” – the same name and address as the current US President’s father.

The fight was said to have been between members of the white supremacist Klan and supporters of the Italian fascist movement.

Under the headline ‘Klan assails policemen”, the article, first uncovered by the BoingBoing blog, details how Mr Trump was one of those detained after a “battle” in which “1,000 Klansmen and 100 policemen staged a free-for-all”.

It quotes the then New York Police Commissioner, Joseph Warren, saying the Klansmen wore gowns and had hoods covering their faces.

Having been represented by the same lawyer as the six other men, Fred Trump was “discharged” – the only one of the seven not to be charged with a criminal offence.

It is unclear what role, if any, Mr Trump played in the brawl. Some reports at the time suggested he was arrested for “refusing to disperse”.

Another news story on the fight claimed that all seven men arrested were wearing KKK gowns and hoods.

Mr Trump’s father would have been 21 at the time of his arrest. He later became a multi-millionaire property developer after starting out building houses in New York.

The fight took place on 29 May 1927 – the US Memorial Day - at a time when New York authorities were trying to halt the KKK’s growing presence in the city. Originally founded in the 19th Century, the Klan was reformed in 1915 and became a violent organisation that promoted white nationalism and targeted black Americans.

Asked by the New York Times last year whether his father had been arrested at a Klan event, Donald Trump repeatedly denied it, insisting “it never happened” and saying it was “totally false” that his father lived on Devonshire Road, despite records appearing to confirm it to be true.

"We lived on Wareham," he said. "The Devonshire—I know there is a road 'Devonshire,' but I don't think my father ever lived on Devonshire.

The President and his team have been unable to quell speculation about his father’s alleged links with the Klu Klux Klan.

Donald Trump has also faced questions over the fact he was endorsed by the Klan during the presidential election campaign and has consistently been praised by the organisation’s former leader, or “Imperial Wizard”, David Duke.

Asked by CNN last year whether he would distance himself from Mr Duke’s endorsement, the Republican replied: "I don’t know anything about David Duke, okay?"

"I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists.

“I don't know, did he endorse me? Or what's going on. Because I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists."

2017.03.03 / 14:48
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