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'Proud boys, stand back and stand by': Trump refuses to condemn white supremacists during debate

The US President condemned Antifa and the left during the debate with Joe Biden.

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump refused to explicitly condemn white supremacists and milita groups during the presidential debate in the early hours this morning. 

In a testy debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden, Trump said “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by” when answering a question on the matter from moderator Chris Wallace.

Wallace put to him: “Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and say they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities as we saw in Kenosha and as we’ve seen in Portland?”

Trump responded that he was “prepared to do that” but added that “almost everything I see is from the left wing not the right wing”.

“I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.”

When pressed further, Trump said: “What do you want to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name?”

Finally, he 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 because this is not right-wing problem… This is a left wing problem.”

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Biden interjected that Antifa was “an idea not an organisation”, but Trump dismissed him. The former vice president also claimed during the debate that the president was sowing racial division in America in recent months. This was also denied by Trump. 

The Proud Boys are a far-right group, who recently held a rally in Portland. The city in the western state of Oregon has been living through months of unrest sparked by the killing of unarmed black man George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The president’s remarks appear to have been warmly welcomed by the group. 

Retweeting a screenshot from a New York Times journalist purporting to show Proud Boys supporters welcoming Trump’s comments, Biden said: “This. This is Donald’s Trump’s America.”

About the author:

Sean Murray

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