Trump's Refusal to Condemn Proud Boys at Debate Reflects His Electoral Strategy


Trump said "I don't know who the Proud Boys are", a day after urging them in the election debate with Joe Biden to "stand back and stand by". "But I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left".

"My message to the Proud Boys and every other white supremacist group is cease and desist", Biden said during a post-debate train tour through OH and Pennsylvania.

In terms of where they fit into the extremism world, the Proud Boys are a hate group, not your traditionally overtly white supremacist organization.

Proud Boys leaders and supporters took to social media to celebrate the president's comments at the debate, with more than 5,000 of the group's members posting "Stand Back" and "Stand By" above and below the group's logo.

Biden has often said he chose to run for president after white supremacists attacked counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 and Trump said there were "fine people on both sides".

Proud Boys is a far-right organization that admits only men as members and promotes and engages in political violence.

Shortly after the debate, the group began selling a T-shirt with Trump's words, "Stand Back, Stand By".

On Wednesday, when asked to clarify his remarks, President Trump told reporters he doesn't know who the Proud Boys are.

The toxic shout fest - with Trump constantly interrupting and Biden launching personal attacks - even prompted the overseeing Commission on Presidential Debates to announce it would be imposing new measures to help moderators "maintain order" at the upcoming two debates.

Members of the Proud Boys, have been seen in their black and yellow polo shirt uniforms at multiple 2020 Trump campaign rallies. "I hope that our work, our culture and our leadership speak for itself unequivocally, but let me say - to leave no shred of doubt - we all condemn white supremacy, racism and hate in every form".

Trump planning to distribute 150 million rapid coronavirus tests
Most Americans give Trump poor marks on his handling of the pandemic , which is weighing heavily on his re-election campaign. Each costs $5 and can be analyzed in 15 minutes without the use of laboratory equipment.

Trump questioned the integrity of the country's elections system repeatedly Tuesday night, again targeting mail ballots and also calling on his supporters to go be poll watchers after making a reportedly false claim that poll watchers were being denied access in Philadelphia precincts.

BIDEN: His own Federal Bureau of Investigation director said. antifa is an idea, not an organization.

"Why the President didn't just knock that out of the park, I'm not sure", Kilmeade said.

"The American Jewish Committee tweeted, "@potus-Bigots, racists, and antisemites are rejoicing at your refusal to condemn white supremacy. They have been seen publicly engaging in skirmishes with demonstrators at Black Lives Matter protests, notably clashing with ANTIFA, a left wing group that has been known to get into conflicts with right wing activists and have also been accused of violence.

The head of the Anti-Defamation League called on Trump to explain or apologize.

He wrote that Trump "owes America an apology or an explanation".

In 2017, he said "both sides" were to blame for violence between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"Standing down and standing by sir", the group said in a social media posting.

Following the president's comments, Democratic nominee Joe Biden defended Antifa, referencing FBI Director Christopher Wray's argument that Antifa was more of a movement or ideology.