Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks about health care in King of Prussia, Pa., on Tuesday. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)
Among the small number of American newspapers that have embraced Donald Trump’s campaign, there is one, in particular, that stands out.
It is called the Crusader — and it is one of the prominent newspapers of the Ku Klux Klan.
Under the banner “Make America Great Again,” the paper’s current issue devoted its entire front page to a lengthy defense of Trump’s message — an embrace some have labeled a de facto endorsement.
“ ‘Make America Great Again!’ It is a slogan that has been repeatedly used by Donald Trump in his campaign for the presidency,” the Crusader’s Pastor Thomas Robb wrote. “You can see it on the shirts, buttons, posters and ball caps such as the one being worn here by Trump speaking at a recent rally. … But can it happen? Can America really be great again? This is what we will soon find out!”
“While Trump wants to make America great again, we have to ask ourselves, ‘What made America great in the first place?’ " the article continues. “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. And as a White Christian Republic it became great.”
The Trump campaign responded with criticism of the article. “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,” the campaign said in a statement Tuesday evening.
Reached by phone, Robb told The Washington Post that while the paper wasn’t officially endorsing Trump, the article signaled the publication’s enthusiastic support for his candidacy.
“Overall, we do like his nationalist views and his words about shutting down the border to illegal aliens. It’s not an endorsement because, like anybody, there’s things you disagree with,” Robb said. “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 12-page monthly newspaper calls itself “The Political Voice of White Christian America!” and has a well-known white supremacist symbol on its front page. It has paid up subscriptions of 234,800 and a readership of 4-5 time that number 50,000 copies are distributed free. The latest edition includes articles about Jewish links to terrorism, black-on-white crime and a man who claims to be Bill Clinton’s illegitimate child. An article near the end of the paper says that Trump’s candidacy is “moving the dialogue forward.”
The publication’s website says that its “number one goal” is to “stop white genocide.”
[How America’s dying white supremacist movement is seizing on Donald Trump’s appeal]
Since the earliest days of his presidential bid, Trump has attracted the support of prominent white nationalists across the country, setting off fears that a dormant fringe faction of the GOP base — one steeped in xenophobic and white supremacist rhetoric — would be folded back into mainstream politics.
In the early months, white nationalists said they were reluctant to publicly throw their support behind the controversial billionaire for fear of harming his strengthening campaign. But white nationalists said as Trump became more emboldened, they did too.
In January, Jared Taylor — editor of the white nationalist magazine American Renaissance — lent his voice to a robo-call recording urging registered voters in Iowa to back Trump. Those potential voters, Taylor told The Post, are part of a silent majority who are tired of being asked to celebrate diversity but are afraid of being labeled bigots.