During his meeting with the staff of the New York Times on Tuesday, President-elect Donald Trump said he hasn’t done anything to feed the fire of white supremacists and distanced himself from a recent gathering of neo-Nazis praising his name.
Times reporters who were live-tweeting the session captured an exchange between Trump and top editor Dean Baquet asking euphemistically about the “alt-right,” which gave the president-elect the opening to disavow the amorphous group’s support. He, uh, didn’t really.
Later on in the meeting, after he was asked about a weekend meeting of the white supremacist National Policy Institute, Trump finally condemned the group.
And then he disavowed them again, after noting that the Times journalists wouldn’t let the issue go.
Well, there you have it. Despite allowing a former top editor of Breitbart, the so-called alt-right’s internet garbage fire, to run the fourth quarter of his campaign and rewarding him with a top White House role, Trump hasn’t thrown a bone to any of the white supremacist masses who are delighted by his administration so far.
But don’t worry, Bannon is definitely not racist and Breitbart is “just a publication,” Trump said.
The president-elect also said he just doesn’t “feel very strongly” about launching a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton, despite enthusiastically leading supporters in chants of “lock her up” on the campaign trail and vowing to appoint a special prosecutor.
Despite the fact that the same conservative sites that lauded his rise–Breitbart and Judicial Watch among them–haven’t taken kindly to Trump’s reversal on Clinton, the president-elect said prosecution would be “divisive.”