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Trump again disavows alt-right, white supremacists

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    In this Nov. 18 photo, Richard Spencer, left, talks to the media at an Alt Right conference hosted by the National Policy Institute in Washington.

ATLANTA >> President-elect Donald Trump is again distancing himself from the alt-right movement as its white supremacist members claim his election as a boon for their agenda.

“I disavow and condemn them,” Trump said Tuesday during a wide-ranging interview with staff members of The New York Times.

It’s the latest attempt from Trump to separate himself from groups and individuals widely condemned for their advocacy of white supremacy in American culture.

The Republican president-elect added that he does not want to “energize” the groups, one of which garnered viral headlines this weekend with a gathering in Washington, where organizers and attendees evoked Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich with cries of “Heil Trump” and reprisals of the Nazi salute.

The Times has not yet released a full transcript or video of the meeting, but participants used Twitter to share his remarks throughout the exchange.

Richard Spencer, an alt-right leader who convened the weekend gathering sponsored by his National Policy Institute, told the Associated Press he was “disappointed” in Trump’s comments. But Spencer said he understands “where he’s coming from politically and practically,” adding that he will “wait and see” how the real estate mogul’s administration takes shape.

Still, Spencer argued Trump needs the alt-right movement and should be wary of shunning it because of a few news cycles of bad publicity “that do not define what we’re doing.” Spencer said Trump needs people like him “to actualize the populism that fueled his campaign.”

Trump’s denunciation also comes amid continued criticism over Trump tapping Steve Bannon, who managed the final months of the billionaire businessman’s presidential campaign, as chief White House strategist. Bannon was previously the leader of Breitbart News, an unapologetically conservative outlet that Bannon has described as a “platform for the alt-right.”

At the Times, Trump said Breitbart “is just a publication” that “covers subjects on the right” and is “certainly a much more conservative paper, to put it mildly, than The New York Times.”

Before Trump’s latest denunciations, Spencer told AP earlier Tuesday that he doesn’t see either Trump or Bannon as members of his movement, though “there is some common ground.”

He said he and like-minded “identitarians” — his preferred label for white identity politics — see Trump’s election as validating their view that the United States is flailing because it has embraced multiculturalism and political correctness at the expense of its European heritage.

Spencer said “without an intellectual vanguard” that white nationalists can provide, Trump would have a “meaningless” tenure mired in the “mainstream conservative movement” that he’s railed against. “The whole promise of his campaign was that he wouldn’t do that,” Spencer said.

Throughout his campaign, white nationalists have embraced Trump’s hard-line approach on immigration and other issues. He sometimes used his Twitter account to distribute comments and links from white supremacist accounts, including a famous quotation from Benito Mussolini, the 20th century fascist leader of Italy.

The president-elect’s son, Donald Trump Jr., also became a flashpoint by using social media to distribute imagery with xenophobic or racist connotations. In September, the younger Trump posted a doctored image of himself, his father and several other prominent Trump allies next to Pepe the Frog, a cartoon character that Spencer chose as a mascot for his movement. Trump Jr. also retweeted an academic who argued that anti-Semitism is a “logical” response to a belief that Jews control the world’s banks.

In February, the elder Trump refused during a CNN interview to denounce the Ku Klux Klan and one of its former leaders, David Duke, saying he “didn’t know anything” about Duke. Initially, he said a faulty ear piece left him unable to hear the questions clearly, but days later he issued a clearer condemnation.

“David Duke is a bad person,” he said in an MSNBC interview. “I disavowed the KKK,” he added. “Do you want me to do it again for the 12th time?”

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        • Are you a bot or are you just mindless like LessPark and UkuleleBlueBalz, you can’t answer a question. Why is this a hit piece, isn’t it good if Trump disavows white supremacists, unless you’re one of the disavowed?

      • Trump he one smart dude. Why does everyone not give him a chance. The media again is trying to connect him to the Nazi’s but even their leader said Trump is not associated with them.

    • IRT KeoniGohan, fully agree with your post. Thinking about it, SA and AP are truly racist in constantly bring up this kind of stupid lies on President-elect Donald J. Trump. It seems this is the only issue they (SA and AP) has and will continue to bring it forward for the entire first term of office.

    • Trump will not disavow Bannon, his chief strategist and adviser. If he sincerely wants to disavow the White Supremacists and NeoNazis, he has to start with Steve Bannon.

        • Vector drinks the kool-aid. Trump’s own son-in-law is Jewish and vouches for Bannon’s character.

        • Bannon himself, as the former leader of breitbart, identified breitbart as an alt-right platform. While the alt-right movement is loosely knit, common themes are an opposition to multiculturalism and the belief of the supremacy of white, western civilization. This is why so many view bannon’s appointment with alarm.

        • skinut- it boils down to how one defines alt-right. There are conservatives who clearly disavow racism and white supremacy; yet they are painted with the same brush as white supremacists and all lumped together and labeled as alt-right. Therein lies the fallacy.

    • Agree. Trump has never been associated with “groups and individuals widely condemned for their advocacy of white supremacy in American culture,” but the AP story creates the impression that he was by reporting he is attempting to separate himself from them.

    • The left-wing press will not allow this to end as their goal is to put another left-wing democrat in office. I’m guessing the NYT has several reporters, working with the DNC, doing nothing but dig up dirt on Trump.

  • “Again disavows”? When did he do it the first time? Hiring Steve Bannon makes it clear that he is inseparably attached to the white supremacist cause.

  • it’s hillary that considered a kkk leader her mentor. it’s hillary that delivered a touching speech of solidarity to a dead kkk leader. it’s hillary that was endorsed by the california kkk dragon. it’s hillary that never rejected her kkk support. it’s hillary that called inner city black youths “super predators” who needed to be “brought to heel.”

    yet, no press inquiries, no lingering stories questioning her racist views.

    • If you’re talking about senator robert byrd of west virginia, he was a former leader of a kkk clan who said he joined because of their anti-communist stance. He later said his association with the klan was his biggest regret in life and he offered apologies to president obama. As for will quigg of the california kkk, no one took his endorsement seriously, and clinton’s campaign rejected them and their agenda. Suggestions that clinton had a link to the kkk was just another attempt to smear her by alt-right websites at a time that trump was fighting racism claims.

      • glad to see your support for byrd and clinton means you view trump as a person who rejects racism despite the main stream media attempts to smear him as such.

        • No, my point is that the claims against clinton was just an attempt to take the heat off trump. His current relationship with steve bannon, who is tied to the alt-right website, breitbart, represents more problems for his disavowal of white supremacists. If he was smart, he would cut bannon loose. But of course, his stubbornness won’t allow him to do that.

        • so, to clarify, you believe democrat denials of racism.

          despite the fact that byrd was a part of kkk.

          despite the fact that hillary called black youths “super predators” with “no conscience and no sympathy” that need to be brought to heel and lobbied for extended sentences for them.

          but, you choose not to accept trump’s denials that he is not a racist. got it.

        • I don’t normally get involved in back and forths, but since you insist on trying to put words into my mouth…you might want to read what I said more carefully. I never said anything about trump being a racist, although he has given a lot of evidence of such leanings. My comments were about his relationship with a man known for his alt-right views. Big difference. Btw, using double negatives (“trump’s denials that he is not a racist”) changes the meaning of what you are trying yo say.

  • The media is publicizing this less-then-half-hearted disavowment as Trump distancing himself? After Trump eviscerates the media, they better understand why those of us who wanted real reporting never stood up for them. SA included.

  • I found it hilarious when Mr. Trump bypassed the media entirely in order to get out his message regarding his plans once he takes office. Rather than granting the untrustworthy American media an on camera interview, he promptly ignored them and instead posted a video of himself on youtube. Brilliant and a great way to send a message to American journalists. He doesn’t need them and neither does the American people.

    • People need to go with the flow. Is Trump, his family, Bannon and the rest of his inner circle racist? The answer is they are just as racist as the Obama’s and his inner circle and after 8 years, the yin and yang of things have turned the tide of US leadership 180 degrees. It is a certainty that Trump and his family will NEVER make the kind of money he once did. Over half the US population hates Trump and will systematically boycott his business and those he started for his kids. He and is family will never starve but now that he is the Pres of the US he cannot make business deals for himself of his kids and that is what got Hillary and Bill in trouble and the Democrats in government would love for Trump to slip up and then impeach him which would be as disgraceful as Bill Clinton got impeached. Trump can only work on putting his name in the history books on what he can accomplish in terms of the economy, the security of the US, etc. Just like the Obamas they had to try hard to put their racist tendencies in a lockbox and try to run government based on all men being created equal but garans Trump is to undo a lot of Obama’s attempt to right all the injustices of this nation. Trump is taking the right tone to at least disavow the white supremacist movement but of course he has all intentions of putting white back in the Whitehouse after 8 years. The job of being President might actually humble Trump and put him on track where he might do a whole lot of good as Hillary really should never deserve to be President of the US. Her email fiasco really was a deal breaker and despite FBI Comey helping her to lose, Hillary brought this upon herself. Hillary does not deserve to be blamed for Benghazi, that should probably go to someone like Whitehouse insider Valerie Jared, but Hillary was a willing participant when the Whitehouse gave her orders to give the BS video story to protect Obama’s re-election bid. Hillary could NEVER do the right thing like tell the public what she knew of the stand down order for political reasons and resign as secretary of State. General Powell is just as guilty when he mislead the world of Iraq and the bogus story of WMD’s knowing dang well he was a brilliant general who would have had to known the information was from a single source Iraqi dissident with no independent verification that West German intelligence nicknamed “Curveball”. Unlike Hillary, give Trump a chance knowing he really does not owe either the Demos or Repubs anything and is free to make decisions on what is truly best for the US. Of note Tulsi Gabbard did the right thing and resigned from Demo. power when she knew the process was rigged for Hillary, was not afraid to go against Obama and the Demo regarding dealing with the Middle East; and now she was invited and had a face to face with Trump. Maybe 4 or 8 years from now the first female president of the US might just come from Hawaii.

      • PS: Forgot to mention former General Eric Shinseki showed he was a true military leader of his men and did the right thing by publicly confronting his bosses Rumsfeld and Cheney in handling military strategy during the 2nd Iraq war that basically got him fired. Obama gave him a chance to show political and governmental leadership by putting him in charge of the VA; unfortunately that was a disaster and showed he could not handle administrative leadership of a massive bureaucracy and had to resign in disgrace. Had he passed that test Shinseki might have been the first Asian American to be President of the US. Actually Inouye should have been the first Asian American to be President of the US as Medal of Honor war hero and incredibly smart and influential government leader that almost all respected. Unfortunately American society was just not quite ready for that during his peak years.

  • This is what’s most interesting about Trump. No one knows who he is and what he’s going to do. He makes all kinds of statements then does a 180 on them. Keeps everyone a bit nervous even our enemies.

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