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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Buchanan: No Thanks, Vlad

PHOENIX, Arizona -- U.S. Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan on Friday rejected an endorsement from Russian ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, saying he wanted nothing to do with anti-Semitism or Zhirinovsky's "politics of hatred."

Zhirinovsky, who is openly anti-Jewish and whose party is the third biggest bloc in the Russian parliament, sent a message to Buchanan this week telling him they could cooperate to deport U.S and Russian Jews.

Campaigning in Arizona, he said: "Pat Buchanan is an American patriot who believes that every single American of whatever race, color, creed or background, including Jewish Americans, has constitutional rights and I will defend the interests of every American citizen if that is threatened in any way abroad."

Buchanan has been dogged by accusations of anti-Semitism throughout his career, a label he vehemently rejects.

Buchanan said Friday that if he were elected president, he would maintain an open-door policy for victims of persecution. "And if Mr. Zhirinovsky, Lord forbid, comes to power and is hostile to his minority populations and viciously so, I will maintain the U.S. idea of asylum for those who are deeply persecuted by that regime," Buchanan said.