OXON HILL, Md. — Richard Spencer, a founder of the alt-right movement that seeks a whites-only state and that strongly backed Donald Trump for president, was expelled from the Conservative Political Action Conference after being criticized from its main stage, then giving interviews to a growing crowd of reporters.

“People want to talk to me,” Spencer told NBC News from outside the Gaylord National Harbor complex. “They don’t want to talk to these boring conservatives. They want to learn about ideas whose time has come, not whose time has passed.”

Spencer, who has frequently attended CPAC without incident, became a minor media sensation during and after the 2016 election. But one of the first speeches at this year’s conference challenged the media to stop referring to the alt-right as conservative.

“There is a sinister organization that is trying to worm its way into our ranks,” said Dan Schneider, the executive director of the American Conservative Union, which runs CPAC. “We must not be deceived by a hateful, left-wing fascist group.”

There was an irony to Spencer’s expulsion on the same day the conference featured White House strategist Stephen Bannon, the former CEO of Breitbart News, who once called the site “the platform for the alt-right.”

In 2013 and 2014, Breitbart News sponsored forums on the outskirts of CPAC called “The Uninvited,” featuring guests who were not welcome on the main stage due to controversial views on Islam and immigration.

“I didn’t like ‘the Uninvited,’” said the ACU’s president, Matt Schlapp, while introducing Bannon.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.