Some of the world’s most infamous racists are endorsing Donald Trump

Trump has won over several far-right figures.
Trump has won over several far-right figures.
Image: Reuters/ Karen Pulfer Focht
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This post has been updated. 

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received a surprise endorsement from New Jersey governor Chris Christie this week. Perhaps less surprising are the endorsements Trump received in recent days from a number of high-profile racists–including French right-wing politician Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Le Pen, who founded France’s anti-immigration National Front party and has infamously argued that the Nazi occupation was not “particularly inhumane” and that there are too many non-white players on France’s football team, expressed his support for Trump on Twitter:

“If I were American, I would vote Donald Trump,” he wrote on Saturday (Feb. 27). “But may God protect him!”

Quartz has contacted the Trump campaign for comment and will update this post with any response.

Le Pen’s dubious endorsement comes just days after Trump won the support of white nationalist and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke.

“Voting against Donald Trump at this point is really treason to your heritage,” Duke said on his radio program on Feb. 24.

Trump said that he disavowed Duke’s endorsement. But he’s since avoided a question about whether he would condemn Duke and the KKK.

Meanwhile, Trump on Sunday morning (Feb. 28) re-tweeted a quote famously attributed to Italian fascist Benito Mussolini.

The original tweet came from a parody account that attributes Mussolini quotes to Trump, and it’s since transpired that the parody account was created by Gawker with the specific goal of luring Trump into re-tweeting a Mussolini quote.

When asked about it, Trump claimed he knew the quote was attributed to the Italian dictator. He told NBC’s “Meet the Press:

“It’s OK to know it’s Mussolini. Look, Mussolini was Mussolini. It’s OK to — it’s a very good quote, it’s a very interesting quote, and I know it. I saw it. I saw what — and I know who said it. But what difference does it make whether it’s Mussolini or somebody else? It’s certainly a very interesting quote.”

Trump did not comment on whether he wished to be associated with the dictator. But the votes of confidence from Le Pen and Duke would appear to be of a piece with recent polls showing significant levels of intolerance among Trump’s supporters. Trump has been widely criticized for proposing to build a wall along the US-Mexico border and saying the US should block Muslims from entering the country.