“I deeply regret voting for and promoting Donald Trump in 2016,” Spencer tweeted Tuesday night.
He later added, “To the people of Iran, there are millions of Americans who do not want war, who do not hate you, and who respect your nation and its history. After our traitorous elite is brought to justice, we hope to achieve peace, reconciliation, and forgiveness.”
Spencer has opposed previous military action by Trump. In 2017, he led a protest against the president's strike against a Syrian airbase, in which individuals chanted: “We want walls, not war!” One also held a sign, which read: “No more wars 4 Israel.”
At that time, Spencer added a Syrian flag to his Twitter profile to express his protest. On this occasion, he dded an Iranian flag to his profile.
Spencer was invited on CNN in July to discuss Trump's racist tweets targeting Democratic members of Congress of color, prompting widespread criticism that the network had given a platform to a “horrendous racist.” On that occasion, he criticized Trump's words as insufficiently racist.
"Many white nationalists will eat up this red meat that Donald Trump is throwing out there. I am not one of them,” Spencer told CNN. “I recognize the con game that is going on.”
He later added, "He gives us nothing outside of racist tweets. And by racist tweets, I mean tweets that are meaningless and cheap and express the kind of sentiments you might hear from your drunk uncle while he's watching [Sean] Hannity."
Many took to Twitter, where Spencer’s appearance became a trending topic, to rebuke CNN's controversial decision.
"Between Richard Spencer and this, not CNN’s best day," wrote Charles P. Pierce of the Politics Blog.
The Hill columnist Joe Concha wrote, "Providing Richard Spencer ample national airtime is a travesty and is rightly receiving the universal condemnation it deserves."