By Eric Bradner, CNN
Washington (CNN) Donald Trump stumbled into a racially charged controversy Sunday, saying in an interview on CNN that he didn’t know enough to disavow former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke.
Hours later, Trump tried to clean up his comments on Twitter amid an outpouring of criticism from his Republican presidential rivals. Sen. Marco Rubio slammed the remarks, saying they make Trump “unelectable.”
The Sunday uproar started when Trump was pressed by CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” about whether he would disavow Duke and other white supremacist groups that are supporting his campaign.
“Just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK?” Trump said.
Trump was pressed three times on whether he’d distance himself from the Ku Klux Klan — but never mentioned the group in his answers.
“I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists,” he said. “So I don’t know. 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.”