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Trump Disavows Alt-Right Support in New York Times Interview

Donald Trump
Donald Trump in the Oval Office / AP
• November 22, 2016 3:25 pm

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President-elect Donald Trump disavowed the support he received over the weekend from an alt-right conference in Washington, D.C. during an interview with the New York Times on Tuesday.

The National Policy Institute, an alt-right think tank, caused a political firestorm when supporters gathered Saturday and celebrated Trump's election win as a victory for white nationalism.

People at the conference cheered Trump with chants reminiscent of ones used by Nazis under Adolf Hitler's rule–such as "Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!"

The Times asked Trump multiple times about the incident and white nationalist support for the president-elect more broadly. Trump condemned the hateful rhetoric and disavowed endorsements from alt-right groups, the Times reported while live-tweeting the interview.

Video of the National Policy Institute event went viral soon after the Atlantic reported the incident.

For most of the day, a parade of speakers discussed their ideology in relatively anodyne terms, putting a presentable face on their agenda. But after dinner, when most journalists had already departed, [National Policy Institute President Richard] Spencer rose and delivered a speech to his followers dripping with anti-Semitism, and leaving no doubt as to what he actually seeks. He referred to the mainstream media as "Lügenpresse," a term he said he was borrowing from "the original German;" the Nazis used the word to attack their critics in the press.

"America was until this past generation a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity," Spencer said. "It is our creation, it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us."

The audience offered cheers, applause, and enthusiastic Nazi salutes.

Spencer had his Twitter account suspended days before the conference, and social media personality Tila Tequila had her account suspended Monday after pictures surfaced from the gathering of her making Nazi gestures and writing pro-Nazi comments.

Maggiano's Little Italy in Friendship Heights, the Italian restaurant that hosted the gathering unaware of its actual nature, issued an apology and donated the money it made that night to charity, the New York Daily News reported.

"The reservation was made under a different name, therefore we were not aware that NPI was dining with us or what the group represents," the restaurant wrote in a spicy apology denouncing the group on their Facebook page.

[…]

The restaurant pledged to donate the proceeds from Friday night, a total of $10,000, to the Anti-Defamation League nonprofit based in the nation’s capital.

Published under: Donald Trump, New York Times