"I don’t want to energise the group" - Donald Trump disavows the alt-right

It comes after a video showed a group at a white nationalist conference performing Nazi salutes and shouting 'Hail Trump'

"I don’t want to energise the group" - Donald Trump disavows the alt-right

President-elect Donald Trump waves to the crowd as he leaves the New York Times building following a meeting. Picture by Mark Lennihan AP/Press Association Images

US President-elect has moved to disavow the alt-right amid continued controversy over the loose-knit fringe group.

The Southern Poverty Law Center - which aims to "combat hate, intolerance and discrimination" - describes the alt-right as "a set of far-right ideologies, groups and individuals whose core belief is that 'white identity' is under attack by multicultural forces using 'political correctness' and 'social justice' to undermine white people and 'their' civilisation".

The alt-right - which has received more mainstream attention after being heavily criticised by Hillary Clinton during a campaign speech - has been increasingly accused of promoting white nationalism.  

Yesterday, The Atlantic released a video of Richard Spencer - the man who popularised the term 'alt-right' and head of the white supremacist National Policy Institute - and a crowd at a conference shouting 'Hail Trump' as some in attendance performed Nazi salutes.

The video led to activists calling for Mr Trump to condemn the actions.

Speaking to the New York Times about the alt-right movement in general, Mr Trump said: “I don’t want to energise the group, and I disavow the group.

"It’s not a group I want to energise, and if they are energised, I want to look into it and find out why.”

He also specifically disavowed and condemned the actions of those at the recent conference. 

Trump also moved to defend Stephen Bannon - the former Breitbart News head who has been appointed as Trump's chief strategist in the White House.

Breitbart has been accused of fostering and promoting the alt-right, but Trump today told supporters that it is "just a publication":