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.
Trump: “I don’t want to energize the group, and I disavow the group.” (1/2)
— Mike Grynbaum (@grynbaum) Nov. 22, 2016
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.
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.