Monday night’s Anderson Cooper 360 was a real fight!!
The panel discussed a white nationalist conference led by Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer that took place over the weekend in DC, as well as Donald Trump’s role in emboldening and bringing this movement of white supremacists forward.
The annual conference, which took place at the National Policy Institute ended with Spencer calling out “Heil Trump, Heil our people, Heil Victory,” followed by a round of applause and followers saluting him.
Panelist Errol Louis said that Trump must “own up to the fact that he has encouraged in subtle and not so subtle ways the growth of these people and has refused to make part of his politics pushing them back to the margins.”
Journalist Peter Beinart agreed. “Yes,” he said, “[Trump] should denounce these things. We should also be honest about the fact these things, these people existed before, but they’re enormously emboldened because they feel like they have a friend in the White House and they are not entirely wrong in that feeling.”
Trump surrogate Kayleigh McEnany responded to the conversation by saying that “President-Elect Trump has repeatedly denounced racists more than any candidate in this race.” She added, “If the alt-right thinks they have a friend in the White House, it’s not because of Donald Trump, who repeatedly denounced racism.”
McEnany instead blamed “liberal commentators who completely take him out of context, and gloss over the fact he called out racism.”
“With all due respect, Kayleigh,” Beinart started, “I really don’t think that’s why they think they have a friend. I did not imagine that Donald Trump spent years claiming that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. I didn’t make that up. I didn’t make up the fact that Donald Trump responded to the San Bernardino attack by calling for a halt of Muslim immigration.”
Symone Sanders, Former Bernie Sanders national press secretary, shut down McEnany’s defenses of Trump. “In 2016, we have put a white nationalist in the White House with Steve Bannon.”