A Knight’s Tale about Scalise has some problems

By Robert Mann

Kenny Knight, the former David Duke aide, is trying to do Rep. Steve Scalise a solid. And some in news media might just buy it. Perhaps they should be more skeptical.

Knight is now asserting that then-state Rep. Scalise wasn’t really speaking to a white supremacist group — the European-American Unity and Rights Organization — in 2002 at a Metairie hotel. Knight, also a former neighbor of Scalise, says the man who is now the Republican whip in the U.S. House was merely speaking to Knight’s neighborhood association.

Here’s what he told the Times-Picayune for a Wednesday story:

Knight said he rented and paid for the hotel conference room for the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, a group founded by Duke. Since he had already paid for the space, Knight said, he decided to also hold his local civic association meeting at the Metairie hotel. He stressed that the two gatherings were not connected.

“Steve Scalise did not address a EURO conference. … The conference was two-and-a-half hours later,” Knight said.

There are at least three problems with Knight’s new tale:

1. Scalise has already acknowledged that he spoke to EURO’s conference. To quote the Washington Post:

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the House majority whip, acknowledged Monday that he spoke at a gathering hosted by white-supremacist leaders while serving as a state representative in 2002, thrusting a racial controversy into House Republican ranks days before the party assumes control of both congressional chambers.

2. Knight told a slightly different story to the Washington Post:

Kenny Knight, a longtime political adviser to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, said in an interview Tuesday that he personally invited House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) to speak to a 2002 gathering of white supremacists.

“He was my neighbor,” Knight said of Scalise, who was serving as a state representative at the time of the conference. “I asked him to be the first speaker before the meeting kicked off.”

To its credit, the Times-Picayune noted this discrepancy in Knight’s revised story.

3. Knight falsely told the Times-Picayune that he had nothing at all to do with EURO.

Incorporation papers filed with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office in 2000 listed Knight as the organization’s treasurer (hat tip to an alert reader for digging up this info). The group was then known as the National Organization for European-American Rights, but later changed its name to EURO.

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Perhaps Scalise really was just speaking to a neighborhood association, as Knight now contends. But Knight’s credibility is clearly questionable, at best. His word is a thin reed upon which to exonerate Scalise.

His defenders will have to do much better than this.

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25 Responses to A Knight’s Tale about Scalise has some problems

  1. SB says:

    Only an idiot would risk having the slightest association with David Duke and expect to be elected to public office — and ridicule. Scalise has proven himself to not be an idiot, having made it to congress. Only an idiot would construe the above statements posted in news sources to be proof of Scalise knowingly speaking at a Duke sponsored event. Read them carefully.

    Like

  2. SB says:

    Mr Mann, I want to apologize for implying that you or anyone else interpreting the previous news stories is an idiot for such a belief. You are certainly not an idiot. I disagree with you politically but I am certain that you and I share the same desire for progress to improve living conditions in America and the world. However, I am angered by the ease with which Scalise was smeared by reputable media outlets. While it is possible that Scalise knew that David Duke organized the forum at which Scalise spoke, it appears extremely unlikely. Perpetuating an unproven allegation — particularly one as ugly as associating with racists — is irresponsible at best, and has the appearance of a vicious, malicious, politically motivated libel. Please accept my apology for the insulting comment. I stand by the rest of my post. A careful judicious reading of every word printed about this subject, including Scalise’s own supposed quotes, bears no incriminating statement.

    Stian Brinch

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  3. cathy hightower says:

    Vitter lives 2 blocks away on Helios. The civic association for that area is Bonnabel Civic Association. Bonnabel’s Board would never condone racism and they never had a meeting at the Landmark.

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  4. Fredster says:

    Oh yeah, this is a man whose credibility I believe in.

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  5. Brian Trascher says:

    Now here are the problems with your attempt to rake coals Dr. Mann:

    1. You are not objective. You have made a career (if you can call it that) from being a left wing hatchet Mann disguised as a journalist. So your credibility is in question. We know you are extremely distraught that this story is absolutely nothing like what you thought it would be on Monday.

    2. We now know that Scalise erred on the side of caution and honesty by his “admission.” He clearly stated that he had no recollection of a EURO conference, which we now know why. Because it was happening later that day in another room. But he remembered accepting Mr. knights invitation around that time at that hotel, so he owned it. He and everyone else knows that had he known anything about EURO he would have declined the invitation.

    You’re used to democrats, so this type of preemptive accountability instead of Clintonian hair splitting words like “is” confuses you. We get it.

    3. Knight told the same story to every media outlet he has spoken to. Each writer, however, has chosen to put his or her own edits on what he said. You don’t get to change his words and then criticize him for changing his words. I know that’s how your business works, but that’s not how life works.

    4. Knight never said he wasn’t involved in EURO, by organizing the room for Duke he admitted to being involved. So digging up old SOS documents that do not contain Mr. Knights signature do nothing but prove that he was at least a figure surrounding the organization of this group, something the whole world now knows as well as by his own admission.

    5. Now that this once juicy story has come apart at the seams without any casualty, the fact that the straw graspers are now resorting to digging up more background info on Mr. Knight while composing puff pieces about the now discredited Lamar White just proves that your camp knows this is over and you lost. You cant get scalise anymore so you’re going to try your best to make the people who blew the cover off the left wing conspiracy look as shays as possible in a weak attempt to paint scalise. Again, didn’t work, you lost.

    Dr. Mann, this isn’t looking for a new make up artist for your boss when she freezes up while watching her people drown. This is big boy politics. Welcome to the NFL.

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    • Robert Mann says:

      Times-Picayune: “Knight said he was not a member of EURO and did not arrange for any speakers at the 2002 conference, he said. He only booked and paid for the room as a favor to Duke, a personal friend whose campaigns he had worked on in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Duke, at the time, was living outside of the country in Moscow and addressed the conference remotely.”

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      • Brian Trascher says:

        Imagine that. The Times Picayune misquoted someone, we are all shocked. Once again, Knight admitted to being involved in the conference even though he wasn’t an active member. This is not news nor were their any new revelations in your article. Knight has been publicly attached to Duke for over 20 years.
        Unfortunately for you, there is no connection between Scalise and Duke.

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    • Nathaniel McDougal says:

      Brian,

      I am having a real problem with your #1 point regarding Bob’s “objectivity”. If one’s argument is to be judged by their “career”, shouldn’t your “career” as a GOP political consultant, GOP candidate, and lobbyist be a cause to disqualify you from offering any non-biased opinions on the issue? Of course, there’s only one reason why someone from Louisiana would want people to stop looking into these connections between the GOP and Duke’s people. It’s because those folks are afraid of what people are going to find.

      Considering you also write for the “Hateride”, it’s not surprising that you resort to personal attacks, disrespectful comments, and general crudeness. So, unless you have credible information that disproves the contemporaneous accounts of the event on Stormfront where Scalise WAS a speaker who spoke about tax issues that were favoring “certain races”, you can just stay quiet because rehashing the contradictory statements of Kenny Knight or even being ok with Scalise associating with him is just base politics the likes of David Duke himself.

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      • Brian Trascher says:

        Wow, where do I begin? You just told 5 lies in one post. You see, the left is so used to lying and getting away with it that you don’t even think twice about it. Nobody on your side will ever call you out, but I will.

        I have as much as much bias as Dr Mann, the difference is that I don’t pretend to be a journalist. Using a media job as a platform to spew hatred against people who happen to place a premium on patriotism and faith is disingenuous and disgusting. Using free speech to combat lies, especially demonstrably false statements disguised as a news article is in no way a forfeiture of credibility.

        Second, there is no connection between Duke and the Louisiana GOP. He was excommunicated over 20 years ago.

        Third, the state controlled faction of the media is on day 5 of trying desperately to connect Scalise to Duke in any way they can. ..no matter how thin and despite the fact that they have hit dead ends on every Avenue.

        Fourth, I don’t and have never written for any publication called the hateride. Even if that was your lame attempt at parodying the Hayride blog, you’re still wrong. Since I have no doubt that you have no experience in opp research other than being a Google warrior, you probably came up with the aforementioned website copying a Facebook rant of mine one time. I have never written anything for them by request. Laziness is the primary reason why it’s so easy to stomp a mud hole in liberals.

        Fifth, it has been proven ad nauseum by eyewitnesses, not by anonymous bloggers, that scalise was not a featured speaker of the euro conference and never attended or addressed it. We now know that it was a neighborhood town hall and scalise was invited by the President of said organization. That person also happened to be the organizer of the euro conference. To even suggest anything other than these confirmed facts is malicious lying.

        In a serious political debate or even in journalism, you don’t start with a preconceived premise and work backwards. That’s what the leftist media does, and it’s called confirmation bias. Google it. When the wheels came off of the wagon on the scalise witch hunt, they then turned their sights on knight partly because his longtime friendship with Duke makes him an easy target, and partly because they could capitalize on the coordinated effort to misquote him in order to call his credibility into question. Fortunately for knight, every conversation he had with every reporter was recorded and his message never wavered…only the reporting.

        This incident, just like the uva rape case and the duke lacrosse case should be taught in every journalism class in America.

        Finally, I do agree with Dr Mann about 1 thing…Scalise should come out and put the exclamation point on this thing so the rest of us can get back to football.

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      • Ken Burk says:

        That piece in The Hayride is priceless. I can’t believe that Mr. Trascher doesn’t want to own that.

        Like

  6. Robert Mann says:

    Times-Picayune: “When asked by telephone Thursday about the records listing him as EURO’s treasurer, Knight twice hung up on a reporter. ‘Is that 15 years ago? I don’t even remember that,’ he said. ‘I’m not communicating any more with the news media. I’m finished with y’all.'”

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    • Brian Trascher says:

      Why would he comment further, only to be misquoted again? Your replies have all proven my original points so thanks in advance.

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  7. Robert Mann says:

    Look, I know Steve’s your close friend and you know him much better than me. And so I suppose you are offended by the attacks on him as a racist or a friend of Duke. I don’t blame you. I’d defend a friend, too. He’s blessed to have someone like you in his corner, I suppose. And so, I’ll take the word of those who know him well that he’s not a racist. I wrote about all that in another post, so no need to belabor it here. My only point is that the rush by some to absolve Scalise by saying that he was really just speaking to a neighbhorhood association is based on the word of someone of questionable credibility. If Scalise believes that he wasn’t actually speaking to EURO, perhaps he should say so himself. So, far I’m not aware that he has.

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    • Brian Trascher says:

      So is Knights credibility in question because he was misquoted or because of his association with Duke? Because you are entitled to the latter but not the former. By the way Knight has offered to take a polygraph to confirm his story, I haven’t seen anyone else make that offer.

      Like

  8. Robert Mann says:

    You seem to be speaking for Kenny Knight. Are you his spokesperson?

    Like

  9. Steven Band says:

    If Knight was mis-quoted, as Brian Trasher has claimed without corroboration many times.. why didn’t he take the opportunity to clear that up when the Times-Picayune gave him the opportunity?

    If I’m mis-quoted and the paper calls me back.. I’d give them an ear full and I’d clear up the record. I wouldn’t hang up on them three times. In fact, I’d contact them myself if I believed they misquoted me.

    Three times he picked up the line. He even took the time to tell them he wasn’t going to cooperate with them. At no point he felt the urge to utter “you’ve misquoted me”?

    Like

    • Brian Trascher says:

      He told them he wasn’t talking to them anymore because they kept misquoting him. And he never actually hung up on anyone that is a lie also.

      Like

  10. I’m glad to see the Scalise apologists call Scalise a liar when he admits to speaking at EURO. That is the problem with zealots, they have an agenda and use public figures to support their beliefs. That is, until their heroes don’t follow their script. Then they call their heroes liars and rewrite history to fit their faulty memory or deny the facts altogether.

    Like

    • Brian Trascher says:

      You mean like when Obama said we could keep our doctors and health plans? Or was it more like when Clinton said he didn’t have sexual relations? Scalise erred on the side of honesty, something no democrat ever does. Go back to the cheap seats.

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  11. Zealot. Can’t even stay on topic. If you want to debate me, you are debating way over your weight class. You imply Scalise did not speak at EURO despite his candid admission. Simultaneously, you laud him for erring on the side of honesty and admitting he did. Get off the fence and say what you mean. Which is it? And shrieking “Obama” or “Clinton” or “Benghazi” to deflect from admitting your conflicting talking points response won’t work here, either.

    Mr. Mann writes a thoughtful column. If you practice more critical thinking instead of regurgitating talking points maybe you can have a column, too, when you grow up.

    You can have the last word, just understand there are many more people out there who used to be politely silent, but will now aggressively challenge people who spout talking points that have been proven to not work and have set America back for even trying such madness. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

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    • Brian Trascher says:

      My previous post destroys your original reply as well as your subsequent reply. This is now on auto pilot, so thanks.

      And quit pretending that you’re smart after you’ve already proven the contrary. Mann can get away with that because, while almost always wrong, he is no dummy. If I’ve ever suggested he was out of annoyance then I should apologize because he’s not dumb, just inaccurate.

      Like

      • RealWorldGuy says:

        The only thing you have proven is that your comments are based on the Conservative alternate reality facts and not the actual facts that the rest of us are using. When we will never agree on the facts, it is pointless to “discuss” or “debate.”

        Like

      • Brian Trascher says:

        Parroting other left ring wishful thinking isn’t a fact. I’m on the inside and all of you are on the outside, therefore I am the only one operating on facts.

        Nice try.

        Like

  12. Phil Beaver says:

    Re Ken Burk’s post,
    I read the article at http://thehayride.com/2013/10/trascher-seven-points-to-make-to-the-anti-columbus-crowd/ . It seems nobody in that debate was aware of the infamous Christian “Doctrine of Discovery,” under which Columbus sailed. As a consequence of that and his use of slang, I am not impressed with Mr. Trascher’s posts. I reserve the right to change opinion.

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