Audio captures Republican congressman claiming KKK is the ‘military wing’ of Democratic party

Newly-obtained audio has captured Republican congressman Scott Perry claiming that the Ku Klux Klan is “the military wing of the Democratic party” in a closed-door meeting with other lawmakers.

In the audio, obtained by CNN, the Pennsylvania lawmaker also pushed the right-wing “replacement theory” – the baseless conspiracy theory that white people are slowly being replaced by minorities and immigrants – and claimed that migrants coming to the US “have no interest in being Americans.”

“The KKK in modern times, a lot of young people think somehow it’s a right-wing organization when it is the military wing of the Democratic Party. Decidedly, unabashedly, racist and antisemitic,” Mr Perry said.

“Replacement theory is real,” he added. “They added white to it to stop everybody from talking about it.”

The Ku Klux Klan has a long history of violence and is the oldest and most infamous of American hate groups, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. It has no affiliation with the modern Democratic party.

Mr Perry’s comments were made during a House Oversight Committee’s member briefing, entitled “the Origins and Implications of Rising Antisemitism in Higher Education”, on Tuesday ahead of a panel hearing the next day about the District of Columbia’s response to the Gaza protests and encampments on college campuses.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser was expected to testify in the hearing, but it was cancelled hours before it was due to take place, after police cleared the encampment on George Washington University’s campus.

Scott Perry at a conference in the Capitol 29 November 29, 2023. Mr Perry is accused of calling the KKK the ‘military wing of the Democratic party’ (Getty)
Scott Perry at a conference in the Capitol 29 November 29, 2023. Mr Perry is accused of calling the KKK the ‘military wing of the Democratic party’ (Getty)

In the closed-door meeting, Mr Perry made many inflammatory comments about immigrants.

While claiming that he is accepting of people “that are here legally” – an apparent reference to his own ancestors who migrated to the US – he said he has an issue with migrants who are “un-American,” CNN reported.

“What is happening now is we’re importing people into the country that want to be in America … but have no interest in being Americans, and that’s very different and to disparage the comments is to chill the conversation so that we can continue to bring in more people that we never met that are un-American,” Mr Perry allegedly said, according to the recording.

Mr Perry’s office said in a statement to The Independent that his comments had been twisted.

“Once again, the radical Left twists facts in order to silence conversation about its own crimes and Biden’s intentional failures to enforce laws and close or regulate our borders. My point is proven yet again: when the Left loses an argument, it debases and smears instead of engaging in debate on merits,” Perry said in a statement to the outlet.

The Republican lawmaker’s comments echo those made by other prominent members of his party in recent months.

Last month, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and House Speaker Mike Johnson held an event that also appeared to echo the “great replacement” theory as they supported a bill to ban non-citizens from voting – despite the fact this is already illegal in the US.

Speaking at Mr Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate on 12 April, Mr Johnson claimed that “election integrity” is tied to a “lack of border security,” something he claimed is the most important issue facing American voters.

With the former president at his side, Mr Johnson promoted legislation that would require citizenship to cast a ballot, alleging that Democratic officials’ “designs” for an “open border” intend to “turn these people into voters.”

The “many millions of illegals in the country” could “turn an election,” he said.

Non-citizens are already unable to vote the US.

Mr Trump continues to push anti-immigrant rhetoric as the nation heads towards the November election. He previously claimed that immigrants are “poisoning the blood” of the US and has falsely alleged that millions of migrants are pouring into the country, which is not supported by federal government data.

The Independent has contacted Mr Perry for comment.