Presidential historian Jon Meacham links Donald Trump's border wall rhetoric to Ku Klux Klan

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tags: presidential history, Ku Klux Klan, Trump, wall

On the same day as President Donald Trump's televised Oval Office address – in which he stoked racial resentment of immigrants, using fear as a motivator to rally support for the construction of a $5.7 billion "wall" along the U.S.-Mexico border – presidential historian Jon Meacham suggested a link between the rhetoric used by the commander-in-chief to a powerful member of the Ku Klux Klan from decades ago.

"America should 'build a wall of steel, a wall as High as Heaven,' against the flow of immigrants," Meacham wrote on Twitter Wednesday night, citing former Georgia Gov. Clifford Walker's words at a 1924 convention of the KKK.

The "New Georgia Encyclopedia" elaborates on Walker's ties to the white supremacist organization:

Walker again ran for governor in 1922 and, after soliciting Klan support during the race, easily defeated Hardwick. Unlike his predecessor, Walker remained loyal to the Klan while governor. He addressed a national Ku Klux Klan convention, where he promised to meet with Klan leaders in the state on policy issues. Walker kept his word and often consulted Klan leaders on matters regarding state policy. In 1924 Georgia voters elected Walker to a second term.

Trump's Tuesday speech was reportedly written by White House aide Stephen Miller. CNN contributor April Ryan, a White House correspondent, revealed on Monday that her Republican sources had confirmed that Miller was writing the speech. Miller is known for his hardline immigration views and for crafting Trump's controversial travel ban to the U.S. by people from several Muslim-majority countries.

Read entire article at Salon

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