President-elect Donald Trump found himself being criticized earlier in the week for allegedly “energizing the alt right movement” which has rallied around his campaign.
Trump has since disavowed himself from the white nationalist group and has clearly stated he doesn’t condone their movement. But democrats and liberals alike are not buying it. They’re now questioning his appointment of Steven Bannon, Trump’s White House Chief Strategist.
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On Tuesday, Trump informed a group of New York Times reporters at the newspaper’s headquarters, “I don’t want to energize the group, and I disavow the group.”
Trump added to his statement in response to a question asked by the newspaper’s executive editor, Dean Baquet. He said, “And if they are energized I want to look into it and find out why.”
Trump’s comments come days after a white supremacist and leading figure in the alt-right, Richard Spencer, delivered a racist and anti-Semitic address during a recent gathering of the group’s members, in which he declared, firmly, “Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!”
Trump has also been receiving flak for his appointment of Steve Bannon as many argue Bannon’s website, Breitbart, is a “platform for the alt-right.”
“I’ve known Steve Bannon a long time. 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 told the group of journalists.
The President-elect delved further into defending his candidate of choice stating, “Brietbart is just a publication. They cover stories like you cover stories. They are certainly a much more conservative paper, to put it mildly, than the New York Times. But Brietbart really is a news organization that has become quite successful. It’s got readers, and it does cover subjects on the right, but it covers subjects on the left also. It’s a pretty big thing.”
The journalists also quizzed Trump on his commitment to free speech, the First Amendment of the Constitution. “I think you’ll be happy,” he replied.
The meeting almost didn’t happen. Just hours before the meeting was scheduled to start, the president-elect abruptly canceled it, taking to Twitter to tweet that the newspaper, which he called “failing” and “not nice,” had changed the “terms and conditions” of the meeting. The newspaper confirmed the meeting was back on just hours later.
I cancelled today's meeting with the failing @nytimes when the terms and conditions of the meeting were changed at the last moment. Not nice
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016
It is obvious that the President-elect will have to defend every choice as the new regime is incoming. Trump should get a fair chance and at least get into office before the media begin to question his motives and appointments. This is sadly the America we live in. Why don’t we just all take a breath and see if his decisions pay off in the long run?