Fox News has been trying to explain away President Donald Trump’s refusal to denounce white supremacist groups as “alt-right” for months.
But a recent report by The Washington Times sheds new light on the White House’s effort to obfuscate the reality that Trump is a white supremacist.
In the article, journalist Robert Costa, who wrote a book on the subject, explains how Trump has been using the term “alt right” to describe his campaign, which he labeled “the alt-right.”
But the term itself has a long and troubled history.
As Costa recounts in the article: “Alt-right is a loose-knit collection of white nationalist groups that have grown into an organized movement in the United States.
The movement was founded in the late 1990s, long after neo-Nazis and white supremacists had gained control of the Republican Party and in a moment when many white nationalists had given up hope of ever having a place in American politics.
They were inspired by the rise of Donald Trump and by his call to “make America great again.”
The alt-left believes in a post-racial society in which white people have the power to shape policy and culture.
Its adherents, including Trump, have embraced the term to describe their own views and have denounced the term as an attempt to delegitimize them.”
The Times article goes on to detail the lengths the Trump administration has gone to distance itself from white supremacists and white nationalists, and even to deny any association with them.
But in recent weeks, the White Houses press office has been more forthcoming, clarifying that the president is a “big fan” of the alt-Right.
“The President is very proud of the fact that he is an alt-lite, a big fan of the movement,” the press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said on Twitter.
Trump has called alt-lite a “bunch of losers” and accused it of promoting “fake news.”
But Costa’s reporting also suggests that the Trump White House is trying to obscure its own relationship to white supremacists.
“I was really surprised when I read about Trump’s comments about ‘the alt right,’ ” Costa wrote.
“It’s hard to explain how the White house is trying so hard to keep the Alt Right off the president’s agenda, but I can tell you this: The president is very much in love with the alt right, a movement that he helped create.”
Costa’s story follows similar efforts by other outlets to document the extent to which Trump has embraced white supremacists in recent months.
The New York Times published an article in March detailing the White Senate’s efforts to pressure the administration to end DACA, a program that allows undocumented young people to stay in the country legally.
In a letter to the president in June, senators urged the administration not to renew the program, and then Trump took to Twitter to call for Congress to defund it.
“A decision to cancel DACA should not be made lightly, as a decision to suspend or end the program would have a devastating impact on millions of young people who are protected by DACA,” the senators wrote.
The White House and the Whitehouse.gov website have also been under intense scrutiny from progressive groups for their use of fake news stories and social media accounts that promoted misinformation about the Trump presidency.
For example, a series of articles published on March 15, 2017, claimed that a federal judge had ruled against a lawsuit filed by the mother of a missing college student.
But the lawsuit was in fact an effort by the Trump Administration to undermine a federal court order to release the child from immigration detention.
The Washington Free Beacon reported in April that the administration had created fake news articles and shared them on social media that promoted conspiracy theories about the death of Trump aide Sebastian Gorka.