- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 22, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump said Tuesday that he disavowed racist elements of the “alt-right” and that his campaign was not about staring racial hatred.

In an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Trump condemned participants at an alt-right conference in Washington who celebrated his election victory with a Nazi salute.

“I disavow and condemn them,” he said.

Mr. Trump was accused throughout the campaign of being a racist and of energizing supporter who were alt-right or white supremacists.

“It’s not a group I want to energize,” he told the newspaper. “And if they are energized, I want to look into it and find out why.”

Mr. Trump also defensed his campaign chairman and newly appointed chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, who has been accused of being a racist and anti-Semite.

“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,” he said.

He said the allegations were “hard on” Mr. Bannon.

“I think he’s having a hard time with it. Because it’s not him,” Mr. Trump said.

Breitbart News, where Mr. Bannon was executive chairman before joining the Trump campaign, has been accused of providing a platform for alt-right views.

“Breitbart is just a publication,” Mr. Trump told the newspaper. “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 Breitbart really is a news organization that has become quite successful.”

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