Trump: Proud Boys Should 'Stand By'

He sidestepped debate question on condemning white supremacist groups
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 29, 2020 10:55 PM CDT
Updated Sep 30, 2020 12:01 AM CDT
Trump: Proud Boys Should 'Stand By'
President Trump speaks during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland.   (Olivier Douliery/Pool vi AP)

In one of the most talked-about moments from Tuesday night's messy debate, President Trump danced around a question from moderator Chris Wallace about whether he was willing to condemn white supremacists and military groups. "I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not the right wing,” Trump responded, per the AP. "I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.” When pressed further, Trump said, “What do you want to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name?”

Finally he said, "Proud Boys—Stand back, stand by, 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." NBC reports that the Proud Boys, considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, appeared to be energized by the mention. "Standing down and standing by sir," their Telegram social media account stated. Proud Boys organizer Joe Biggs wrote: "President Trump told the proud boys to stand by because someone needs to deal with ANTIFA... well sir! we're ready!!" (More Election 2020 stories.)

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