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Donald Trump ‘Disavows’ Alt-Right: ‘It’s Not a Group I Want to Energize’

”It’s not a group I want to energize,“ Trump tells the New York Times

Donald Trump rejected the beliefs of alt-right movement, telling the New York Times during a meeting on Tuesday “I disavow the group.”

Richard B. Spencer, the leading ideologue of the alt-right movement, delivered a speech on Saturday night in Washington D.C. that railed against Jews and said America belongs to white people.

Trump was asked about the conference on Tuesday during a wide-ranging, on-the-record conversation with the Times. Journalist Julie Davis, who was in the room, tweeted that Trump condemned the remarks.

Times editor Dean Baquet asked if Trump feels like he had a hand in energizing the alt-right movement, to which the president-elect answered, “I don’t think so … It’s not a group I want to energize.”

Trump also used his meeting with the Times to defend chief strategist Steve Bannon, who is viewed by many as a pioneer of the alt-right for his ties to conservative website Breitbart.

“If I thought he was a racist or alt-right or any of the things, the terms we could use, I wouldn’t even think about hiring him,” Trump said, according to Times reporter Maggie Haberman. “I think it’s very hard on him. I think he’s having a hard time with it. Because it’s not him.”

Meanwhile, Breitbart’s lead story on Tuesday morning ripped Donald Trump for a “broken promise” to prosecute Hillary Clinton.