Associated Press confirms that Biden once eulogized a former KKK leader

Deceased longtime Democratic senator was an "exalted cyclops" in hate group.

Published: October 31, 2020 11:04am

Updated: October 31, 2020 12:03pm

The Associated Press this week confirmed in a fact check that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden once eulogized a former Ku Klux Klan leader who also served in the U.S. Senate for decades.

In a fact check of a claim circulating on the Internet, the AP disputed the allegation that Biden gave a eulogy for "former KKK Grand Wizard Robert Byrd" upon Byrd's death in 2010.

Rather, the news wire said, Byrd was an exalted cyclops, not a "grand wizard." The term "grand wizard" refers to a major leader of the white supremacist group, while an "exalted cyclops" is merely a leader of a local chapter of the Klan.

Byrd served in the U.S. Senate from 1959 to 2010. Throughout his career he continuously distanced himself from his earlier affiliation in the Klan, which he said was a mistake that lasted only a brief period of time in the 1940s.

Biden at Byrd's funeral referred to him as a "mentor" and a "friend."

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