Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee hasn't endorsed Donald Trump for president, but he defended him on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Monday. In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper Sunday morning, Trump did not strongly reject the endorsement of former Republican Congressman, and infamous member of the KKK, David Duke.
"Does anybody think Donald Trump is a racist?" said Huckabee. "I don't. I mean I really don't."
"I doubt he is as sensitive about just how deplorable David Duke is to many of us in the South," he explained. "I mean, I think because I'm from the South I'm more sensitive and, frankly, more repulsed by racism than people maybe who didn't grow up here."
MIKE HUCKABEE (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan are absolutely abominable. I don't think anybody that I know, anybody that I've ever known supports them. And look, I know there's an incredible, just overwhelming fascination I've been watching this morning. But look, let me ask you this, do you think Hillary Clinton is going to have to answer for her relationship with Senator Robert Byrd who was an actual member of the KKK? Look, I'm not trying to defend --
SCARBOROUGH: You're trying to do something, Mike. I don't know what you're trying to do, but there are a lot of --
BRZEZINSKI: And you were doing so well.
SCARBOROUGH: No, Mike, this is pretty simple. Donald was asked two simple questions and he didn't answer them. There's no fascination here. I'd just like to hear him say the Ku Klux -- I'd like to hear him say about Ku Klux Klan what you just said about the Ku Klux Klan. I don't think that's hard. Do you?
HUCKABEE: No, and I think he has said that.
HUCKABEE: I just listened to the clip on the "Today" show. I've read some of the things he said and it looks to me that he totally disavowed the endorsement. I don't think -- does anybody think Donald Trump is a racist? I don't. I mean I really don't. I don't know of anything in his life that indicates that this man has racist tendencies.
SCARBOROUGH: So Mike --
BRZEZINSKI: That's not what we said.
HUCKABEE: So if that's the implication --
SCARBOROUGH: So Mike, you and I have campaigned across the deep South and we have seen people that have done a nod and a wink and have used the race card. I've never done it, I've never seen any evidence of you doing it. But we both have been around --
HUCKABEE: No -- I would not.
SCARBOROUGH: We've both been around people who have played to people's worst instincts on issues of race and would shrug their shoulders or let a question or a comment pass by. So I don't think Donald Trump is a racist. I've known the guy for ten years. I do think, though, he may be playing to some people's most base instincts. I also think he's misjudging people from our region of the country. Fair?
HUCKABEE: You know, here's the thing. I doubt he is as sensitive about just how deplorable David Duke is to many of us in the South. I mean, I think because I'm from the South I'm more sensitive and, frankly, more repulsed by racism than people maybe who didn't grow up here.
I saw the transition from the Jim Crow era in which I grew up to a time in which really race relationships, I believe, are not only dramatically better, but I think in many cases better than they are in other parts of the country. And I think this continuing perception that the South is still a hotbed of racism, Joe, that's nonsense and you know that's nonsense.