Donald Trump

White Nationalist Alt-Righter Claims ‘Hail Trump' Comments Were ‘Ironic'

Richard Spencer told NBC News he is "very willing to criticize" Trump and say "things that he's not willing or able to say"

The white nationalist who said "Hail Trump" and "hail our people" during a conference in Washington D.C. on Saturday — and who received straight-armed Nazi-like salutes in response — told NBC News Monday that his comments were meant to be "cheeky," "exuberant" and "ironic." 

The remarks from Richard Spencer, whose National Policy Institute was described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as one of the most influential purveyors of academic racism in the country, were published in a video by the Atlantic on Monday.

Spencer, 38, told NBC News that the conference was the "next step" for the "alt-right," a soft euphemism for the once-fringe network with ties to white nationalism that vaulted into the mainstream political scene with Donald Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, and includes everyone from hardcore white supremacists and neo-Nazis to critics of so-called "political correctness."

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