After failing to capture more than a handful of newspaper endorsements, Donald Trump has received support from one controversial source with only a week before the election: a noted white supremacist paper operated by the Ku Klux Klan.
Mr. Trump’s campaign has received criticism for heralding tenets that could appeal to the alt-right, such as strict border control, a ban on Muslims, and vocal support of Vladimir Putin. While his campaign immediately renounced the latest endorsement, the paper's praise of his policy platforms shows how Trump’s ideas reflect the values of the alternative voting bloc. While his rhetoric has alienated some traditional conservatives, he’s also given a voice to silenced segments of the American population who feel slighted in the 21st Century as their vision of America has changed.
"While Trump wants to make America great again, we have to ask ourselves, 'What made America great in the first place?'" the article in The Crusader reads. "The short answer to that is simple. America was great not because of what our forefathers did – but because of who our forefathers were."
"America was founded as a White Christian Republic," it continues. "And as a White Christian Republic it became great."
The article reflects views expressed by a number of Trump supporters who have found favor with the candidate’s brazen rhetoric on immigration and terrorism.
"Overall, we do like his nationalist views and his words about shutting down the border to illegal aliens," Pastor Thomas Robb, who wrote the piece, told The Washington Post. "It’s not an endorsement because, like anybody, there's things you disagree with. But he kind of reflects what’s happening throughout the world. There seems to be a surge of nationalism worldwide as nationals reclaim their borders."
The Trump campaign issued a statement saying that it found the support "repulsive," NBC News reports.
Mr. Trump and the campaign denounces hate in any form. This publication is repulsive and their views do not represent the tens of millions of Americans who are uniting behind our campaign."
Just as a lack of newspaper endorsements hasn’t seemed to hamper Trump’s bid for president, this controversial one might not negatively affect him either. While newspaper endorsements have historically played a role in informing voters and swaying their views, the power of such pieces has declined significantly, making it unclear if support from a white supremacist publication will even influence the number of people casting votes for Trump.
"What is different about the here-and-now is the impact that those editorials have," Charles Fountain, an associate professor at Northeastern University's School of Journalism, previously told The Christian Science Monitor. "Those editorials would have had a profound influence on voting habits 100 years ago, maybe even 50 or 60 years ago, but today they move the needle very little in so far as influencing any particular voters."