Wednesday, 21 Oct 2020

Trump to far-right Proud Boys: "Stand back and stand by"

Asked to condemn white supremacist violence at the first presidential debate on Tuesday, President Trump said the far-right Proud Boys group should "stand back and stand by," before immediately arguing that violence in the U.S. "is not a right wing problem. This is left wing."

Why it matters: Trump has repeatedly been accused of failing to condemn white nationalism and right-wing violence, despite the FBI's assessment that it's the most significant domestic terrorism threat that the country faces. The president has frequently associated Antifa and the left-wing violence that has afflicted some U.S. cities with Biden, despite his condemnation of violent protests.

The exchange:

WALLACE: "Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and groups to say they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of the cities as we saw in Kenosha and as we've seen in Portland. 

TRUMP: "Sure. I'm willing to do that."

WALLACE: "Go ahead sir."

TRUMP: "I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing. Not from the right."

WALLACE: "What are you saying?"

TRUMP: "I'm willing to do anything. I want to see peace."

WALLACE: "Then do it sir. Say it."

TRUMP: "What do you want to call them. Give me a name. Who do you want me to condemn?"

WALLACE: "White supremacists and right — "

BIDEN: "Proud boys."

TRUMP: "Proud boys, stand back and standby. But I'll tell you what. Somebody has to do something about antifa and the left. This is not a right wing problem. This is left wing."

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