Jun 16, 2022 - News

Iowa's Sen. Grassley, Franken campaigns spar over KKK reference

A screen grab of a tweet from Charles Grassley's campaign.

This is the tweet from Sen. Chuck Grassley's campaign that set off a political pissing match. Screenshot via @GrassleyWorks

Sen. Chuck Grassley's campaign likened his opponent, Mike Franken, to Nancy Pelosi and tweeted a FOX News link Tuesday that says Franken wants to make Iowa more liberal.

The other side: The retired U.S. Navy Admiral Franken responded via Twitter Wednesday with a 1980 newspaper clip from the Sioux City Journal. The tweet has since been deleted.

  • In it, Grassley was named by the Ku Klux Klan as one of 50 congressmen and senators that "deserve White Christian Patriots' support for re-election due to his record," the 42-year-old story said.
  • In an online response, Michaela Sundermann, a spokesperson for Grassley's campaign, called Franken's campaign "disgusting."
A screen grab of a tweet from Michael Franken.
Franken’s since-deleted tweet via an earlier screenshot of his Twitter feed

Reality check: Candidates can't always control who support them and we found no evidence that Grassley sought the KKK's support.

  • Grassley "doesn’t have a racist bone in his body," Sundermann said in a statement to Axios Wednesday.
  • He has worked to strengthen hate crime laws, fought inequities in the United State Department of Agriculture loan program for Black farmers and was an early leader in the Voting Rights Act, she said.
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