US President Donald Trump drew outrage on Wednesday after he dodged an opportunity to condemn white supremacists, and instead dropped the name of a far-right militia group during the first presidential debate.
When asked if he was willing to reject racist and militia groups Trump deflected and said: “Proud Boys — stand back and stand by.”
“But I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa,” he continued, referring to the far-left movement.
The Proud Boys, a far-right paramilitary group, then appeared to adopt the phrase, with one known social media account posting a logo that read “Stand Back, Stand By.”
Outrage swiftly followed the president’s words.
“At a time of peak far-right violence and growing racism… (Trump) gave another nod to white supremacists, who are already calling that a ‘shoutout'”, tweeted Rita Katz, director of SITE, a US watchdog of extremist groups.
The head of the Anti-Defamation League called on Trump to explain or apologize.
“Trying to determine if this was an answer or an admission. President Trump owes America an apology or an explanation. Now,” Jonathan Greenblatt wrote on Twitter.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a major civil rights organization, has classified the Proud Boys as a hate group.
They are at the opposite end of the spectrum to Antifa, which stands for anti-fascist and refers to a loose international coalition of activists and protesters who oppose far-right ideology.
Joe Biden, Trump’s challenger in the November 3 presidential election, also attacked the president over his mention of the group.
“This is Donald Trump’s America,” Biden wrote in a re-tweet of a New York Times reporter’s message that noted “The Proud Boys are ecstatic tonight about getting mentioned in the debate.”
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Proud Boys are known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric.
“Their disavowals of bigotry are belied by their actions: rank-and-file Proud Boys and leaders regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists,” the center noted.
Arizona Republican likens Trump’s loss to Japan getting nuked while losing WW II — but as a good thing
President Donald Trump on Monday allowed President-elect Joe Biden's transition to proceed -- while vowing he would never concede.
Despite Trump losing the election, some Trump supporters are refusing to accept the outcome.
One Arizona Republican in Congress, Paul Gosar, drew upon the historical knowledge him learned on his way to becoming a dentist in a bizarre analogy he posted on Twitter.
Gosar suggested the Trump movement would be like an Imperial Japanese soldier in World War II who refused to surrender until 1974.
Neal Katyal predicts law schools will teach a ‘Worst Mistakes in Court’ class on Trump’s ‘pathetic’ 20-day fiasco
Prominent lawyer Neal Katyal is best known for having tried over 40 cases before the United States Supreme Court and serving as acting Solicitor General during the Obama administration.
But he also has spent more than two decades as a law professor at Georgetown.
He drew upon all of that experience for a Monday evening appearance on MSNBC's "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.
"Someday a law school class is going to be called 'The Worst Mistakes in Court' -- and it will be just about these 20 days," Katyal predicted. "Because this legal strategy is so pathetic it makes Trump's coronavirus strategy look competent by contrast."
Trump vows he ‘will never concede’ — in 11 pm conspiracy-filled rant
Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential to President-elect Joe Biden, but is still refusing to concede.
White House aides reportedly convinced him to allow Biden to begin his transition by telling him he did not need to use the word "concede."
But that word appeared to be on his mind late Monday night.
"What does GSA being allowed to preliminarily work with the Dems have to do with continuing to pursue our various cases on what will go down as the most corrupt election in American political history?" Trump asked while continuing to lie about the election being corrupt.