Trump campaign spokeswoman says David Duke is 'vile'

Story highlights

  • Mike Pence refused to call Duke "deplorable" Monday
  • Trump spokesman Katrina Pierson denounced Duke on Tuesday

Washington (CNN)A spokeswoman for Donald Trump's campaign Tuesday said it didn't use the word "deplorable" to describe former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke because it didn't want to use Hillary Clinton's terminology.

Katrina Pierson was discussing GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence's refusal on Monday to call the former Klan leader "deplorable" in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer -- "I'm not in the name-calling business," he said -- though he did disavow Duke's support.
    "Let's break out the thesaurus: Is David Duke 'vile'?" CNN's Jake Tapper asked Pierson on "The Lead" Tuesday.
    "Absolutely. And that's exactly why the campaign wants nothing to do with him and we've said that a number of times on a number of networks. The only reason David Duke gets play is because the media keeps him out there, not the Trump campaign," Pierson said.
    Tapper pointed out to Pierson that Pence's interview was earning praise from racists, neo-Nazi websites and even Duke himself, who told BuzzFeed, "It's good to see an individual like Pence and others start to reject this absolute controlled media."
    When asked whether hearing praise from these people made her uncomfortable, Pierson said, "No. You can't control what people do."