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Lousiana Republican Under Fire For Reported Appearance At White Supremacist Event

 U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA)  pictured at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol November 13, 2014. Scalise is coming under fire for appearing at a white supremacists' gathering. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) pictured at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol November 13, 2014. Scalise is coming under fire for appearing at a white supremacists' gathering. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R – Louisiana) is facing criticism for reportedly speaking to a gathering of white supremacists in 2002.

Scalise told The Times-Picayune that he didn’t know what the group represented and that he “detests any kind of hate group.”

The third-ranking Republican received support from Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and some other Republicans, but the head of the Louisiana Democratic Party said he found Scalise’s appearance at the event “troubling.”

Scalise’s spokesperson sent NPR’s “The Two Way” blog the following statement:

“Throughout his career in public service, Mr. Scalise has spoken to hundreds of different groups with a broad range of viewpoints. In every case, he was building support for his policies, not the other way around. In 2002, he made himself available to anyone who wanted to hear his proposal to eliminate slush funds that wasted millions of taxpayer dollars as well as his opposition to a proposed tax increase on middle-class families. He has never been affiliated with the abhorrent group in question. The hate-fueled ignorance and intolerance that group projects is in stark contradiction to what Mr. Scalise believes and practices as a father, a husband, and a devoted Catholic.”

NPR’s Ron Elving joins Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins to discuss whether the political scandal will have any implications for the new Congress.

Guest

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