January 20, 2017 9:11 pm
Updated: January 20, 2017 9:25 pm

Richard Spencer, activist who said ‘Hail Trump,’ punched during TV interview

Some leaders of the Alt-Right movement say they are gaining momentum with the election of Donald Trump as president. But there's controvery following a meeting of an alt-right think tank that seemed to parrot Nazi phrases and slogans.

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White nationalist activist Richard Spencer was punched in the face during a TV interview with a correspondent from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in Washington, D.C. on Friday, amid protests on the day of U.S. President Donald Trump‘s inauguration.

Spencer was being interviewed by ABC correspondent Zoe Daniel when people surrounding him started to heckle and ask him questions.

A video posted on Twitter by user @MrTrunney captured the exchange.

Spencer was talking about how conferences he’s hosted in the past have attracted protests before someone asked him, “Are you a neo-Nazi?”

“No, I’m not a neo-Nazi,” he responded.

“Do you like black people?” someone else asked.

“Yeah, sure,” Spencer responded.

Someone then asked Spencer about a “Pepe the Frog” lapel pin he was wearing before a masked individual swung a fist into the frame and punched him at about the 30-second mark.

The video subsequently shows the assailant running away and Spencer turning around and touching his head where he took the punch.

READ MORE: White nationalists praise president-elect with Nazi salutes, ‘Hail Trump’

Spencer later filmed a video using Periscope in which he discussed the “assault on me.”

Spencer, the president of the National Policy Institute (NPI), a think tank associated with the so-called Alt-Right movement, generated controversy after he said “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory” at an NPI meeting in November.

Audience members were also seen saluting into the air at the meeting.

Spencer later told NBC News that his remarks had an “ironic exuberance” to them.

The meeting was heavily criticized by the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, which said Spencer’s remarks “closely [echo] Adolf Hitler’s view of Jews and that history is a racial struggle for survival.”

In the past, Spencer has called Martin Luther King Jr. a “fraud and degenerate in his life,” and said the civil rights icon has become the “symbol and cynosure of White Dispossession and the deconstruction of Occidental civilization,” according to an NPI column cited by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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