Donald Trump's still not really denouncing racism by the alt-right, despite what he told The New York Times

Don't let the campaign's spin fool you. The president-elect has hardly been a champion of fighting racism

By Grace Guarnieri
Published November 22, 2016 7:56PM (EST)
Donald Trump   (Getty/Chip Somodevilla)
Donald Trump (Getty/Chip Somodevilla)

On Tuesday afternoon President-elect Donald Trump met with reporters and editors from The New York Times — after recently tweeting criticisms against the paper — and made journalists' eyes open wide when he said he "disavowed" the alt-right.

That's part of the incoming Trump administration's recent spin. Faced with a spike in hate crimes timed with Trump's campaign and election, the goal of his team has been to avoid talking about the violence and racism, even as modern-day Nazis went to Washington and perform Hitler salutes in the name of the president-elect. And the Trump campaign was quick to point out that, yes, it had denounced racism plenty of times!

Even Kushner's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, told Forbes something similar in a story published Tuesday: "Trump has disavowed their support 25 times. He’s renounced hatred, he’s renounced bigotry, and he’s renounced racism. I don’t know if he could ever denounce them enough for some people."

Earlier on Tuesday we had decided to email Lanza, the deputy communications director of the Trump presidential transition committee, to see when exactly the president-elect had denounced racism.

“President-elect Trump has continued to denounce racism of any kind and he was elected because he will be a leader for every American," Lanza replied. "To think otherwise is a complete misrepresentation of the movement that united Americans from all backgrounds.”
We followed up, asking Lanza when, specifically, Trump denounced racism. We haven't heard a reply.

Before Tuesday the closest that Trump came to addressing racist acts that have been carried out in his name appears to have been on Nov. 13 when he spoke to "60 Minutes." Then Trump said he had not been aware of but one or two things about threats and told those who were intimidating minorities to "Stop it!"

Trump: I am very surprised to hear that — I hate to hear that, I mean I hate to hear that —

Stahl: But you do hear it?

Trump: I don’t hear it — I saw, I saw one or two instances . . .

Stahl: On social media?

Trump: But I think it’s a very small amount. Again, I think it’s —

Stahl: Do you want to say anything to those people?

Trump: I would say, Don’t do it. That’s terrible cause I’m gonna bring this country together.

Stahl: They’re harassing Latinos, Muslims--

Trump: I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, “Stop it.” If it — if it helps. I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it.

That's pretty much it for Trump's denouncing racism, before Tuesday's halfhearted remark.

Grace Guarnieri

MORE FROM Grace Guarnieri

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Alt-right Donald Trump Jared Kushner President Donald Trump Racism