Members of the far-right group Proud Boys celebrated its mention by President Trump during the first presidential debate on Tuesday, seeing it as an implicit endorsement and boasting of a jump in recruits, per the New York Times, which perused private social-media channels. Members of the "western chauvinist" group involved in violent clashes with left-wing protesters in cities including Portland didn't take the same view of the mention as Jason Miller, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, who said it was "very clear [the president] wants them to knock it off." One communication from the group read, "F--- it, let's go bak [sic] to Portland," per Fox News. Reactions:
- Tim Murtaugh, communications director of Trump's campaign, told Fox that the president had "continuously denounced" white supremacists, including "twice" during the debate. Explicitly asked to do so, Trump said, "Sure, I'm willing to do that. But I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing."
- When Biden mentioned the Proud Boys, Trump said, "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by! But I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left," per the Guardian. The Southern Poverty Law Center views the Proud Boys as a hate group. The Anti-Defamation League notes some members "espouse white supremacist and anti-Semitic ideologies."