Former President Bill Clinton referenced the late Sen. Robert Byrd’s membership in the Ku Klux Klan as a young man during his eulogy for the longtime senator this afternoon in West Virginia. Clinton was the only speaker to reference this dark chapter of Byrd’s history, which has been a topic of much discussion over the years.
Many of Byrd’s colleagues have said that Byrd learned from the experience and that he championed civil rights later, and took pride in endorsing Barack Obama in his bid to become the nation’s first black president.
Clinton said at the memorial service that Byrd’s obituaries have speculated what it meant he was in the KKK.
“I’ll tell you what it means. He was a country boy from the hills and hollers of West Virginia, he was trying to get elected,” Clinton said. “And maybe he did something he shouldn’t have done, and he spent the rest of his life making it up. And that’s what a good person does.”
The Daily Caller interviewed a Klan leader about Byrd. Check out their piece here.