‘Incredibly disturbing’: Trump sparks anger over ‘legitimizing’ white nationalist group
“I’ve said it many times, let me be clear again: I condemn the KKK, I condemn all white supremacists, I condemn the Proud Boys,” Trump said. “I don’t know much about the Proud Boys, almost nothing, but I condemn it.
“But he (Biden) should also condemn Antifa,” Trump added immediately.
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Trump has struggled to clearly state his stance on white supremacy throughout his presidency. While he has condemned ideology and groups like the Ku Klux Klan in the past, those statements also came days after comments that called attention to their actions – including after deadly clashes in Charlottesville, in Virginia, when he spoke of violence “on many sides. “
Trump won’t condemn white supremacists during debate
A similar moment came on Tuesday during his debate with Biden. Asked by moderator Chris Wallace if he would condemn white supremacy, Trump replied “of course” but declined to make that statement clear.
When Wallace suggested that Trump start by condemning the Proud Boys – a far-right group that supports the president and is known to cause violence – Trump told them to “step back and stand by.”
Members of the Proud Boys took note of Trump’s remarks.
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At least one organizer of Proud Boy celebrated the group’s mention on the Talking social media platform, saying, “President Trump has told the proud boys to get ready because someone has to take care of them.” ANTIFA… well sir! we are ready!! “According to screenshots posted by a New York Times reporter on Twitter.
Donald Trump refuses to condemn white supremacists in first US presidential debate
On Wednesday, a reporter asked Trump if he welcomed the white supremacist groups’ ‘love’ show for him, and had another opportunity to condemn them.
“I denounce any form of this,” he said, again refusing to say exactly what he was denouncing.
White House press secretary clashes with reporters over Trump’s stance on white supremacy
Earlier Thursday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany had a heated exchange with Fox News reporter John Roberts on the matter, reading past Trump statements while not making it clear that the president condemns white supremacy.
In his conversation with Hannity Thursday night, Trump praised McEnany for the way she handled the situation, mistakenly claiming that Roberts was “yelling” at him and that Roberts’ wife, ABC News reporter Kyra Phillips, praised Trump’s previous statements. Phillips refuted the president’s claims on Twitter.
Trump then focused the conversation on Biden, saying he had to condemn Antifa for committing acts of violence during widespread protests against systemic racism – ignoring the violence Proud Boys and white supremacists have perpetrated, including in Portland, Ore.
During Tuesday’s debate, Biden drew on FBI intelligence that Antifa is a loosely collective ideology – Biden called it “a philosophy” – rather than a formal group like the Proud Boys.
“Antifa is a horrible bunch of people,” Trump said. “They kill people. What they do to people, and they cause insurgency, they cause riots. He doesn’t want to do that (condemn them). ”
Biden spoke out against the violence and riots during the protests, urging people to demonstrate peacefully.
Trump complained to Hannity that “even if I (condemn white supremacy) a hundred times, it won’t be enough, because it’s fake news.”
– With files from Katie Dangerfield
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