President Trump gave a shoutout to the Proud Boys who took it as a call to action but he has now walked back his comment
During the first debate by President Donald Trump and Joe Biden last night, Trump acknowledged the Proud Boys, telling them to “stand back and stand by.”
The Proud Boys are a far-right extremist and “Western chauvinist” group that are considered violent according to ADL, a nonprofit that works to stop hate groups.
This isn’t the first time Trump has seemingly shown support for an extremist group. In April, NBC News captured tweets by the president they alleged were messages to mobilize extremist groups.
“LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” , ”LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” and “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment It is under siege!”
The tweets came after supporters of the president began to rally in various states around the country. According to NBC News, many online extremist communities felt the messages were from the president encouraging them to prepare for armed conflict.
During last night’s debate, moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump if he would denounce white supremacists and ask them to “stand down.” Biden followed up and specifically named Proud Boys.
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump said. “But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left, because this is not a right-wing problem. This is a left-wing problem.”
After the debate, Proud Boys updated their Telegram social media page to say, “Standing down and standing by sir.”
Proud Boys organizer Joe Biggs posted to social media after the debate in support of Trump’s instructions and he was “standing by,” and displayed excitement that the president “basically said to go f— them up.”
“President Trump told the proud boys to stand by because someone needs to deal with ANTIFA… well sir! we’re ready!!” he wrote.
Biden declared that this was “Donald Trump’s America.”
This. This is Donald Trump's America. https://t.co/wld2mmGTwe
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 30, 2020
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey sent a tweet after the debate showing his disapproval of Trump’s response to the question pertaining to extremist groups.
“Donald Trump was asked to condemn white supremacists tonight. He wouldn’t. He must be defeated.”
Donald Trump was asked to condemn white supremacists tonight. He wouldn’t.
He must be defeated.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) September 30, 2020
Trump walked back his comments on Wednesday afternoon and told reporters that he did not know about the Proud Boys group and to “let law enforcement do their work.”
There he goes again.
Trump always speaks with forked tongue about white supremacists and then claims ignorance.
Trump did this with David Duke and the KKK in 2016.
He did it with racists in Charlottesville in 2017.
And now he’s doing it with the Proud Boys in 2020. https://t.co/CzeOk4I2Mx
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) September 30, 2020
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