Donald Trump, Trump Family Members, Members of KKK-Fiction! & Unproven!
Summary of eRumor:
Accusations that Donald Trump is a member of the Ku Klux Klan, or that Trump’s father was a member of the KKK, have gone viral.
Accusations about the Trump family’s ties to the Ku Klux Klan are both false and unproven.
These accusations surfaced in September 2015 after a New York Times report was unearthed from 1927 that identified a man named Fred Trump, the name of Donald’s father, among those arrested in a brawl between KKK members and the NYPD. Fred Trump’s address was the same as an address he listed in Census records, but other details of the arrest are unclear, Boing Boing reports:
In an article subtitled “Klan assails policeman”, Fred Trump is named in among those taken in during a late May “battle” in which “1,000 Klansmen and 100 policemen staged a free-for-all.” At least two officers were hurt during the event, after which the Klan’s activities were denounced by the city’s Police Commissioner, Joseph A. Warren.
“The Klan not only wore gowns, but had hoods over their faces almost completely hiding their identity,” Warren was quoted as saying in the article, which goes on to identify seven men “arrested in the near-riot of the parade.”
Named alongside Trump are John E Kapp and John Marcy (charged with felonious assault in the attack on Patrolman William O’Neill and Sgt. William Lockyear), Fred Lyons, Thomas Caroll, Thomas Erwin, and Harry J Free. They were arraigned in Jamaica, N.Y. All seven were represented by the same lawyers, according to the article.
The final entry on the list reads: “Fred Trump of 175-24 Devonshire Road, Jamaica, was discharged.”
In 1927, Donald Trump’s father would have been 21 years old, and not yet a well-known figure. Multiple sources report his residence at the time—and throughout his life—at the same address.
The NYPD has said that police reports from the incident are unavailable, and it’s unclear why Fred Trump was arrested, and what his involvement was. Given that Trump could have been an innocent bystander who got tangled up in the melee, or that he could have been fighting against KKK members, the accusation that he was a member of the KKK is unproven.
Donald Trump also directly denied the accusations in an interview with the New York Times:
It never happened. And by the way, I saw that it was one little website that said it. It never happened. And they said there were no charges, no nothing. It’s unfair to mention it, to be honest, because there were no charges. They said there were charges against other people, but there were absolutely no charges, totally false.
Somebody showed me that website — it was a little website and somebody did that. By the way, did you notice that there were no charges? Well, if there are no charges that means it shouldn’t be mentioned.
Because my father, there were no charges against him, I don’t know about the other people involved. But there were zero charges against him. So assuming it was him — I don’t even think it was him, I never even heard about it. So it’s really not fair to mention. It never happened.
Then, also in September 2015, a fake news website reported that Anonymous, the activist group of hackers, had outed Donald Trump as a member of the KKK. The Celebricity story quoted Trump as saying;
“Everyone knows my dad was a Klansmen and it runs in the family but Look people…just because I’m an active KKK member doesn’t mean I’m a racist, I mean if Obama is a Muslim then why can’t I be apart of a brotherhood and have pride in my white heritage? If Obama shows me his birth certificate I will disassociate myself with the Klan, they do a lot of good for my community just like the people of Islam do on Obama’s behalf”
A self-described Anonymous member did release a list of senators and mayors who were supposedly found to be members of the KKK in September 2015, but Trump wasn’t on it. Besides, we investigated claims about politicians being tied to the KKK and found them to be fiction (you can read that story here).