A video that shows alt-right leader Richard Spencer and a group of white nationalists saluting President-elect Donald Trump last weekend at a conference in Washington, D.C., is causing outrage.
"Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!" Spencer cheers in the video captured by The Atlantic at the gathering of the National Policy Institute, a self-described "independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity and future of people of European descent in the United States and around the world."
An audience of about 200 people – some giving Nazi salutes – looks on.
In the video, Spencer, president of the group, also bashes the press.
"The press has clearly decided to double down and wage war against the legitimacy of Trump and the continued existence of white America," Spencer says, later adding, "America was – until this past generation – a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity. It is our creation; it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us."
According to CNN, Trump transition spokesman Bryan Lanza issued the following response:
"President-elect Trump has continued to denounce racism of any kind, and he was elected because he will be a leader for every American. To think otherwise is a complete misrepresentation of the movement that united Americans from all backgrounds."
The National Holocaust Museum also condemned Spencer's comments:
"The Holocaust did not begin with killing; it began with words," the museum said in a statement. "The museum calls on all American citizens, our religious and civic leaders, and the leadership of all branches of the government to confront racist thinking and divisive hateful speech."
On Monday, Spencer told NBC News that his remarks were "ironic."
"I think that's ... one of the things that makes the alt-right fun, is that we're willing to do things that are a bit cheeky," he said.
This was a last minute booking made Friday afternoon, and the reservation was made under a different name, therefore we were not aware that NPI was dining with us or what the group represents. After the event, an attendee sent a tweet in which she made a “Sieg Heil salute” in support of Hitler and white supremacy. This expression of support of Hitler is extremely offensive to us, as our restaurant is home to Teammates and Guests of every race, religion and cultural background.
We want to sincerely apologize to the community of Friendship Heights for inadvertently hosting this meeting, which resulted in hateful sentiment. We want you to know that at the suggestion of one of our Guests, we are donating the profits from our restaurant sales on Friday, $10,000, to the DC office of the Anti-Defamation League, which for decades has been working to bring people together in peace and understanding.
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