Jon Ossoff Tells Fox News Viewers 'Kelly Loeffler Has Been Campaigning With A Klansman'

Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff on Monday said that the state's Republican incumbent, Senator Kelly Loeffler, has been "campaigning with a Klansman," a reference to her December 11 photo with Chester Doles, a former Ku Klux Klan leader and member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance.

Ossoff made his comment on a Wednesday Fox News interview after the interviewer asked him if he thought recent allegations of wrongdoing against fellow Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Reverend Raphael Warnock would possibly discourage state voters from choosing either Democratic candidate.

Although the interviewer didn't specify the exact allegations in question, it has recently resurfaced that Warnock was arrested during a physical child-abuse investigation at a church camp on July 31, 2002.

Prosecutors at the time dropped obstruction charges against Warnock, called his arrest a misunderstanding, clarified that Warnock was never suspected as a child abuser and said he had actually proved helpful information to investigators, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"Reverend Warnock addressed this issue a year ago," Ossoff told the Fox News interviewer. "And here's the bottom line: Kelly Loeffler has been campaigning with a Klansmen. Loeffler has been campaigning, with a Klansmen, and so, I mean, we deserve better than that here in Georgia."

Loeffler has said she had no idea about Doles' identity or involvement in racist groups when she posed for a photo with him at a December 11 campaign event.

After the photo began circulating online, her campaign spokesperson told the Journal-Constitution, "Kelly had no idea who that was, and if she had she would have kicked him out immediately because we condemn in the most vociferous terms everything that he stands for."

Jon Ossoff Kelly Loeffler klansman KKK interview
During a Monday interview, Georgia Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jon Ossoff said that the state's Republican Senate incumbent, Senator Kelly Loeffler has been "campaigning with a Klansman," a reference to her photo with Chester Doles, a former Ku Klux Klan leader and member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance. In this October 29, 2020 photo, Ossoff speaks during a "Get Out the Early Vote" drive-in campaign event on in Columbus, Georgia. Justin Sullivan/Getty

Loeffler brought up Warnock's past arrest during their December 6 debate.

News of Warnock's arrest recirculated after November 11 when a Twitter account called @AnOpenSecret posted mention of it and a link to a Baltimore Sun news article about his arrest. The Twitter account is owned by Gabe Hoffman, a millionaire who has donated hundreds of thousands to Republican candidates, the Journal-Constitution found. Hoffman has also appeared on InfoWars, the online show of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Numerous Republican and conservative websites, such as Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Cotton and, also recirculated news of Warnock's arrest.

When Loeffler raised the issue during the debate, Warnock explained that he was arrested while "working and trying to make sure that young people who were being questioned by law enforcement had the benefit of counsel, a lawyer, or a parent." Prosecutors in the case have backed up his assertion.

With one week left until the state's special runoff election, more than half a dozen polls conducted in the past two weeks have shown the Democratic candidates as neck-and-neck or trading leader positions within the margin of error against their Republican opponents. The race will determine party control of the U.S. Senate.

The Republicans' chances in Georgia's Senate runoff election could be complicated by unverified assertions from President Donald Trump, his re-election campaign and his supporters that the state's Republican governor and secretary of state allowed the election to be rigged in favor of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.

Newsweek contacted Loeffler's campaign for comment.