Trump Has Cultivated the White Supremacist Alt-right for Years

Donald Trump has done more than any political figure in the United States to propagate the beliefs and court the support of the white supremacist "alt-right" movement, whose adherents held a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, where a white supremacist named James Fields Jr. killed a nonviolent protester named Heather Heyer with his car. Here's an attempt at a comprehensive list of the ways Trump has promoted and benefitted from the movement.Birtherism. Trump began insisting in 2011 that Barack Obama may not have been born in the U.S. He once said a "very credible source" had informed him that Obama's birth certificate was fraudulent and claimed to have sent investigators to Hawaii to research the matter. Trump has also suggested Obama may be a Muslim who is sympathetic to the goals of groups like ISIS. (Obama is an American-born Christian.)Steve Bannon. The former chairman of Breitbart News helped run Trump's campaign and is a senior White House adviser. Bannon once proudly described Breitbart as "the platform for the alt-right," and under his leadership the site published an infamous article that celebrated the work of several white supremacists, including Richard Spencer, who was one of the leaders of the Charlottesville rally and who made headlines for using Nazi slogans and gestures at a Washington, D.C. celebration of Trump's inauguration. Bannon has also reportedly praised a far-right French writer named Charles Maurras who was sentenced to life in prison after World War II for collaboration with Nazi occupiers. And he's complained publicly that too many tech CEOs are Asian American.Milo Yiannopoulos. The Nazi-fetishizing former Breitbart staffer who co-wrote the white-supremacist article described above can thank Bannon, who has called his work "valuable," for launching his career. Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, called Yiannopoulos "brave" and said he was a "phenomenal individual" in November 2016. In February of this year, Trump himself tweeted a threat to revoke the University of California at Berkeley's federal funding because it canceled Yiannopoulos' appearance on campus. Yiannopoulos subsequently resigned from Breitbart during a furor over approving remarks he made in 2016 about pedophilia.Alex Jones. Jones' site InfoWars advocates paranoid beliefs of all sorts, including but not limited to alt-right-adjacent theories about the "Jewish mafia" and "globalists," such as the Rothschilds, who manipulate world events to enrich themselves. Trump called Jones "amazing" during a 2015 interview, and the White House seemingly confirmed to the New York Times that Trump and Jones occasionally speak on the phone.  Continue reading...

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