TAMPA — A hoaxster claiming to be David Duke sought a restraining order in federal court in Tampa this week to bar Donald Trump from Florida's presidential primary, calling him a danger to America's morals, values, systems and principles.
The real Duke said he is not behind the court filing.
"That's the biggest, dirtiest trick I've seen recently," he told the Tampa Bay Times. "They've really gone into the depths, the enemy. That would be the perfect smear: 'Even David Duke doesn't like Donald Trump.' "
Duke, 65, is a former Louisiana lawmaker better recognized for white nationalist views and his early affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan. He urged listeners of his radio program last month to "get active" for Trump, who was then criticized for declining to immediately denounce Duke.
The envelope that carried the pro-se motion to U.S. District Court in Tampa listed a return address in Mandeville, La., the city where Duke lives.
The woman with that post office box, a real estate agent, said she didn't send the document. And the postmark came from Philadelphia.
The real Duke said he plans to vote for Trump. The impostor, not so much.
"Donald Trump seems to feel he can steal people's ideas for his campaign and not give them credit, which is wrong, and I find this offensive," the fake wrote.
Contact Patty Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3382.